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Thousands back campaign

CAPTION: Members of the RMT collecting signatures to protest against changes to rail franchises

CAPTION: Members of the RMT collecting signatures to protest against changes to rail franchises

A campaign fighting Government plans to shake up rail services in the north of England, has been backed by nearly 5,000 people .

Trade union, the RMT collected signatures from passengers at railway stations across the region, over concerns about potential job losses and ticket price increases.

One of the major campaigning events was held at Preston train station earlier this month, where supporters from both the city and beyond gave their backing to the campaign.

The RMT expressed their concern about Government plans for the Northern and Trans-Pennine Express franchises, which are due to come under new ownership from 2016, that include plans to axe off-peak fares and reduced ticket office opening times

The postcards bearing the signatures, alongside banners and placards were delivered to the DfT, Great Minster House, in London.

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 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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