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Talks over changes to Sheffield rail services

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MPs are to meet with rail union bosses over concerns about planned changes that will affect services in Sheffield and the rest of northern England.

Rail union RMT is warning of potential job losses, reduced ticket office opening times, lower safety standards and increased fares under plans to find new operators for the Northern Rail and Trans Pennine Express franchises.

The union has announced it will be meeting with northern MPs on July 15 to discuss their concerns.

It comes as 17 Labour MPs have signed a motion saying they are ‘dismayed’ at proposals which they claim could result in the loss of hundreds of jobs.

RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said the proposals are ‘an exercise that would slash jobs, destroy safety and axe ticket offices and other passenger services while allowing fares and profits to soar through the roof’.

Officials from the Department for Transport have said the Government is planning to invest around £1 billion in improving rail services in the north over the next five years.

A spokesman said: “That means more seats, improved connections and better journeys for passengers travelling across the region.”

He added: “It is utter nonsense for the RMT to suggest the Department would ever put passengers at risk or destroy services. We want to ensure that passengers get the quality services they rightly demand.

“That is why we are seeking their views on how the Northern and TransPennine franchises can best suit their needs.”

 

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