Rail workers to hold Leeds station protest as higher fares are announced

Leeds station.
Leeds station.
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Rail workers will stage a protest at Leeds station on Wednesday - the day that the increase in rail fares on the railways is announced.

Members of the rail union RMT will gather at the City Square entrance to the station from 7am until 10am.

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RMT activists and supporters are calling for the rail network to be nationalised.

Rail users could be looking at an increase of almost 3 per cent in the cost of travel, based on inflation data set to be announced on Wednesday.

There will be protests at more than 30 stations, including Kings Cross, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT activists and supporters will be calling for our railways to be run as an affordable and accessible public service and not for private profit. Every year, millions of pounds are siphoned out of the system as private shareholder profit rather than being reinvested in the network.

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“Only 10 per cent of stations are fully staffed but yet UK passengers pay some of the highest fares in Europe.

“The increase announced this month will only serve to make the rail network less affordable and accessible for the travelling public. Privatisation is at odds with a sustainable rail network – we need a publicly owned and nationally integrated railway now.”

A spokeswoman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said: “We are making trains more frequent and less crowded with over 7,000 new and refurbished like new carriages plus thousands of extra services each week by 2021.

"While increases to season tickets are regulated by government, money from fares is crucial to enabling these kinds of improvements.”