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Sheffielders back rail campaign

Members of the RMT brave the rain and hold their protest against changes to rail franchises where they were collecting signatures

Members of the RMT brave the rain and hold their protest against changes to rail franchises where they were collecting signatures

Almost 5,000 people have backed a campaign fighting Government plans to shake up rail services in the north of England.

Union RMT has collected signatures from passengers at railway stations across the region, including Sheffield, over concerns about potential job losses and ticket price increases.

The union says it is concerned about Government plans for the Northern and Trans-Pennine Express franchises, which are due to come under new ownership from 2016.

The RMT will deliver postcards signed by members of the public to the Department for Transport on Monday, the day the Government’s consultation on the new services ends.

RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said: “The plans are already afoot before the consultation has even ended, the axing of off-peak fares on Northern is a savage kick in the teeth for people already struggling with the burden of low pay and austerity. The attack on the fare-paying public has already begun and the delivery of nearly 5,000 cards protesting against the plans on Monday is only the start of the RMT-organised fightback.”

The union has claimed the recent announcement Northern Rail is to scrap off-peak early evening fares is a ‘taste of what’s to come’ under the new franchises.

The DfT said £1 billion was being invested in northern services over the next five years and changes are aimed at giving passengers ‘quality services’.

 

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