This summer, the Government cancelled its plans for electrification of several key rail routes. Public spending on railways in the North of England is underfunded, receiving half that of London over the past decade. Meanwhile, fares continue to rise. Regulated fares are due to rise by 3.6% in January when wages are stagnant.
“It’s deeply concerning that when so much money is being poured into concreting over the countryside, rail expansion is in doubt.” Lianna Etkind of the Campaign for Better Transport
Campaigners and rail users in Huddersfield and Leeds will be holding events at train stations during the Week of Action (27th September – 4th October) before and during the Conservative Party Conference. There will also be an action by Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways.
They will be distributing fliers (Flier for electrified, affordable, well-funded rail services in the North) calling for fair funding for the rail network in the North, a freeze on rail fares and electrification of key routes.
It is now widely thought the pledge to upgrade the Liverpool to Hull Transpennine Line, speeding up journeys in the process, has been shelved, however full confirmation has not yet been announced by the Department for Transport.
“The government still hasn’t engaged with the North seriously over this issue. Instead it has tried to defend its plans by pointing to the small amount of investment it does make, or rehashing previously announced spending. The reality is that the government promised to fully electrify these lines. The North expects this promise to be kept.” Luke Raikes, senior research fellow at IPPR North
Whether you’re concerned about climate change, the health impacts of diesel pollution, the squeeze on people’s incomes or the development of the economy of the North, we hope you would agree that we deserve a better rail system.
“If you’re serious about growing the economies of the Midlands and the North, you have to look at investment in transport there.” Lilian Greenwood, Chair Elect of the Transport Select Committee
The groups involved invite others across the country to join them. Events can be straightforward fliering or something more ambitious involving speakers, stunts or flashmobs. A similar action took place in Huddersfield on 6th September.
Week of Action events
Wed 27th September 5pm-6.30pm at Leeds train station
Wed 4th October 5pm-6pm at Huddersfield train station
We’ll update this page with more specific information about dates and times nearer the week of action. Please email us if you’d like your details added.
If you’re not able to organise an action please support these e-actions in support of electrification of rail, fair funding for the North and a freeze on rail fares in January 2018.
“The patience of people in the north of England has run out.” Andy Burnham, Mayor of Manchester
Electric trains are better for the climate, our health and for passengers. Call on Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, to urgently re-think the decision to scrap the rail electrification projects.
Ask your MP to sign the Pledge supporting a freeze on regulated fares in January 2018.
Lack of government spending on Northern transport is holding the whole economy back. Call on Transport Secretary to pledge immediate backing for a Northern Powerhouse rail programme and to commit ‘catch up cash’ to support transport priorities.