Station protest over change to off-peak railway travel

Protest: Union members will be handing postcards out to the public at Preston Railway Station tomorrow

Protest: Union members will be handing postcards out to the public at Preston Railway Station tomorrow

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A protest over ticket prices will be held at Preston Railway Station tomorrow.

RMT union members will be urging members of the public to support their rally against Northern Rail’s decision to axe a range of off-peak fares.

From today, off-peak tickets will no longer be valid in the evening peak on weekdays on any services in the Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire areas and associated routes between 4.01pm and 6.29pm.

The changes are part of the new franchise agreement that was announced in March. The company claim the change “is the only option that has been taken forward and will be used to reduce the cost of the railway to taxpayers by reducing subsidy to Northern.

“The majority of customers who travel in the evening peak already buy season tickets or anytime fares and won’t be affected by this change. They could also find their trains are less crowded.”

Postcards will be distributed by the RMT at stations across the north, with the public urged to pressure MP’s to sign an early Day Motion opposing the changes and calling for councillors and local authorities to register their opposition

At Preston this will take place from 7am to 9am outside the Butler Street entrance.

RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said: “The axing of off-peak fares is a savage kick in the teeth for people already struggling with the burden of low pay and austerity and the fact that it has been cooked up by the Department for Transport in collusion with the privatisation pirates from Northern Rail is a warning of what’s to come.”