Transport Secretary Mark Harper said there is no indication of an imminent breakthrough in the long-running pay dispute involving train drivers.

He told MPs he has not heard “any such mood music” suggesting union Aslef might change its position.

A so-called memorandum of understanding (MOU) was developed between industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union last week, which could suspend a separate row over pay and jobs for railway workers.

In relation to the Aslef dispute, Mr Harper told the Commons’ Transport Select Committee: “There is, most people think, a perfectly fair and reasonable offer on the table and I genuinely don’t understand why Aslef won’t put it to their members.”

He went on: “It would take the average pay of a train driver from £60,000 for a 35-hour four-day week to just under £65,000 for the same working week.

“Now I think most people will think that’s quite reasonable.

“But the most important thing is, it’s on the table, and I hope Aslef put it to their members.”

The offer to the RMT includes a backdated 2022 pay rise for staff and job security guarantees.

RMT members in each of the train operating companies involved in its row will vote on the suggested agreement.

If accepted, the MOU will terminate that national dispute mandate, creating a pause and respite from industrial action over the Christmas period and into next spring, allowing for negotiations on proposed reforms to take place at local train operating company level.

Mr Harper said this would “clearly be a big step forward”.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said in a statement: “What Harper fails to understand is that, since the RDG’s risible offer in April, we have received overwhelming mandates, on enormous turnouts, for more industrial action.

“Our members have spoken and we know what they think. The RDG’s offer – a land grab for all our terms and conditions, was made in the knowledge that it couldn’t and wouldn’t be accepted.

“We will continue to take industrial action until the train companies and/or the Government sits down and negotiates with us in good faith.”