THURSDAY’S Arriva bus strike has been called off after new talks between the operator and unions.

Drivers walked out again on Monday and were due to strike on Thursday in their dispute over pay but say this has been called off as a gesture of goodwill to the public.

Union Unite said Arriva had agreed to engage in more 'meaningful talks' with the workers over a pay dispute. 

If the pay dispute does not get resolved, Unite says further strike action will still go ahead. 

A statement on the Arriva NW Industrial Action 2017 Facebook page said: “At a meeting tonight at Transport House a decision was made as a goodwill gesture to the travelling public to cancel the action on Thursday, December 7.

“The cancellation is as a result of a request of ours being granted by the company to engage in meaningful talks in an attempt to settle our pay claim.

“We have made our position absolutely clear that any future dates will continue should there not be a resolution.”

More than 2,000 members of unions Unite and GMB are scheduled to walk-out for 24 hours on December 12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22 and 23.

In a statement Phil Stone, managing director for Arriva North West said: "We are pleased to see the trade unions have announced they have called off Thursday's proposed industrial action. 

“It is now the responsibility of us all to ensure we approach new negotiations in an open manner to get this dispute resolved. 

“We do not want to see further disruption to Arriva passengers, staff and local businesses in the run up to Christmas."