Nationwide protests against rail fare hikes today


A WAVE of protests are taking place outside train stations across the country this morning as millions of commuters see their ticket fare rise by 3.5% today.

From Sheffield to Norwich, angry passengers have organised over 23 separate protests outside major stations.

For commuters who have to come into London to work every day, any hike in ticket prices is really a cut in wages. Rail fares have risen by 37 per cent in a decade, twice as fast as the increase in average wages.

Commuters from Cambridge to Kings Cross are to face a £156 increase in annual season ticket price – meaning they’ll be shelling out more than £5,000. As of today, the cost of an annual Cambridge-Kings Cross season ticket will be £5,108, up from the previous price of £4,952. Season tickets for those travelling to Kings Cross on Thameslink and Great Northern services will increase by 3.15 per cent.

Campaign group NOR4NOR are demonstrating outside Norwich rail station from 10-12.00 today. NOR4NOR said: ‘At a national level, passengers have faced a year of turmoil with probably the worst experience of rail travel in Britain since the Second World War: Timetable failures, poor co-ordination, ill-fated and arrogant attempts by companies to impose driver only (DOO) trains, and a lack of any strategic oversight of the rail system.

‘This is a national day of protest with other local actions in Lowestoft, Yarmouth, Kings Lynn and many London stations including Waterloo, Kings Cross and Stratford. ‘In addition, over 1,000 stations still fail to provide full access for disabled passengers and only 40% of Britain’s 2,560 stations have full step-free access.

‘The rail union RMT’s case for guards on trains was recently supported by Transport for the North (TfN) which said that Northern Rail should not remove guards from its trains. Abellio was forced to halt its plans for DOO in 2018. ‘There is an alternative to this sclerotic system: full public ownership.’

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: ‘The rail industry is in crisis and RMT is arguing for a massive cash injection paid for by ending the profiteering on our railways.

‘This would mean passengers could enjoy both fare cuts and safe levels of staffing. This latest kick in the teeth for passengers is another nail in the coffin for privatisation and it is now a question of when, not if, our railways are nationalised. ‘The only solution to Britain’s rail fare rip-off is a publicly owned railway run solely in the public interest free from the greed of the private train companies.’

Protests are taking place at the following Stations across the country.

Wednesday 2nd January 2019: 06:45-09:00 Kings Lynn Station 07:00-10:00 Levenshulme Railway Station 07:30-09:30 London Kings Cross Station

07:30-09:00 Cardiff Central Station

07:30-09:00 Liverpool Lime Street 07:30-09:00 Birmingham New Street

07:30-09:00 Manchester Piccadilly 07:30-09:00 Lewisham Railway Station 07:30-09:30 Whitehaven Railway Station

07:30-09:00 Warrington Central Station 08:00-09:00 Bristol Temple Meads

08:00-10:00 Leeds Railway Station 08:00-09:00 Watford Junction 08:00-10:00 Doncaster Railway Station 08:00-09:00 Newcastle Central Station

09:30-11:30 Sheffield Meadowhall Interchange 10:00-12:00 Norwich Railway Station

10:00-12:00 Stratford Railway Station 16:00-18:00 Millom Railway Station

16:00-18:00 Birmingham Snow Hill 16:30-18:30 Hastings Railway Station 16:30-18:00 Clapham Junction

Thursday 3rd January 2019:

09:00-11:00 Edinburgh Waverley (Market Street).