RMT holds day of protest in North of England over rail cuts

Pacer trainRMT members are today holding a day of action against rail cuts in the North of England.

The union is warning again that veteran “Pacer” trains are set to remain in service for years to come as 30-year-old Tube trains withdrawn from service on London Underground are undergoing refitting to diesel operation and could be used on railways in the North.

The RMT campaign is taking five key messages out to the travelling public:

*SAY NO to Driver Only Operated Trains

*Keep OUR Ticket Offices Open

*Keep OUR Stations Staffed and Safe

*STOP CUTS to the Transpennine Express Network

*OPPOSE Massive Fare Increases.

Events will take place in Hebden Bridge, Whitehaven, Grimsby, Wigan, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Leeds, Sheffield, Greenfield, and Chester.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Today RMT activists and their supporters in the community will be out and about warning again of the nightmare scenario if the government is allowed to bulldoze through plans for the Northern and Trans-Pennine franchises that would axe jobs and safety and condemn the North to decades of transport misery at a time of surging demand. Today’s polling shows that only a tiny minority support the Government’s planned attack on jobs and safety.

“The whole franchise timetable for the Northern and TPE routes has descended into chaos but an announcement is expected any day now. We now know that the pledges to replace the clapped out Pacer’s have been exposed as nothing but hot air as the Government strategy for rail across the North unravels before their eyes and that they are also being forced to consider replacing one lash up with another by press-ganging 30 year old London Underground stock into service raising serious safety issues.

“In New York they are dumping clapped out subway trains in the sea. In Britain they are threatening to dump them on the railways of the North.

“While George Osborne has been spouting a stream of rhetoric about a “Northern Powerhouse” the real truth is that the whole region can expect a sub-standard, bodged-up services for many years to come. RMT activists and our supporters in the community be out in force again across the region this Friday the 13th with a renewal of our fight against the rail franchise carve up.

“Our message is clear, the fight to stop the outrageous attack on jobs, safety and services under the Northern and TPE franchise plans continues and with an announcement imminent the union is sending out the clearest possible signal to George Osborne, his Government and Rail North that they need to scrap this attack on transport operations and to cut the hot air about improving services when they are actually condemning the North to years of rail misery .”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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