Passengers face major disruption to their journeys in the run-up to Christmas.

Industrial action is set to take to place on each of the next Saturdays up until New Year on West Midlands Trains (WMT) - which will affect London Northwestern (LNR) services via stations including Watford Junction, Kings Langley, Bushey, Hemel Hempstead, and Euston.

Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) are striking over plans to give the role of controlling the opening and closing of the train doors to drivers.

There are no plans to remove the role of the train guard but the RMT believes the new dispatch policy jeopardises safety.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT has been left with no choice but to call strike action on West Midlands Trains in the face of the company’s refusal to pull back from their threat to bulldoze through driver only operation and their attack on the safety critical role of the guard at the platform.

"We will not allow the drive for profit to override the core issue of safe and accessible services for all on West Midlands Trains and we stand firm on that very basic principle. We will never compromise on the issues of passenger safety and accessibility.

"The union remains available for talks.”

WMT is investing £700m into improving its fleet, which includes buying new trains.

When new trains are produced, WMT says it is standard practice for these trains to be built with driver-controlled operation.

Strike action will take place on November 16, 23, and 30, and December 7, 14, 21, and 28 - unless a u-turn is made.

On these Saturdays, LNR say fewer trains will be running, some station will not be served, some services will finish earlier than normal, and there will be no additional bus replacement journeys.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel or find alternative travel arrangements.

Callowland ward councillor Ian Stotesbury, who is also the Lib Dems parliamentary candidate for Watford, has called on the Department for Transport to intervene in the dispute.

He said: "Every day I commute from Watford and I know all too well the problems that train disruption causes to day to day life. Lots of people have told me about the problems they have had. To have this made even worse with the threat of strike action is outrageous. The Department for Transport must intervene to avert needless strikes, which will bring yet more chaos for Watford commuters."

LRN commuters have faced many months of on-and-off disruption, since a new timetable was introduced in May.

During October half-term, LNR apologised for the "shambolic" service it was providing.