Day of action at resort station

Blackpool North Rail Station, Blackpool.
Blackpool North Rail Station, Blackpool.

Protesters will be at Blackpool North Railway Station today as part of a new campaign to launch a publicly-funded national railway.

The RMT union is calling for a national railway under public ownership, and wants to see a publicly owned ‘People’s Railway in the North’.

Today is an important day in the union fight for a publicly owned railway

The union says that would mean:

• Every penny that is put into the railway will be invested in the railway

• Funding fair fares, new trains and more services

• More help for passengers – trains will keep their guard with proper staffing for stations and ticket offices

• Proper democratic oversight by communities and councils, instead of rail policy being dictated by private companies

The campaign will be launched at stations across the region today, including at Blackpool North between 4pm and 6pm.

The RMT sent a letter to MPs and councillors across the north, warning the three shortlisted bidders for the new Northern Rail franchise are owned by Dutch, French and German state railways.

The union claims that will mean rail passengers in the north will be used as used a “cash-cow to hold down fares and improve services for state run railways in France, Holland and Germany.”

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Today is an important day in the union fight for a publicly owned railway.

“We will be out in force at locations across the north as we send out the clearest possible warning to prospective MPs and councillors the new TransPennine Express and Northern franchises would ratchet up the scale of the great rail rip-off if they are not halted in their tracks.”