South Yorkshire MPs back fight against Government plans for Northern rail services

David Blunkett
David Blunkett
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Three South Yorkshire MPs have added their names to a Parliamentary motion opposing planned cuts to rail services and jobs in the north of England.

Sheffield’s David Blunkett and Paul Blomfield, along with Rother Valley’s Kevin Barron are among more than 50 MPs that have signed the motion designed to fight proposals to make changes to how the Northern and Trans-Pennine franchises operate.

The motion says MPs are ‘dismayed that the proposals will result in fare rises, service and timetable cuts and the loss of hundreds of essential rail jobs’.

But the Government has claimed its proposals will improve the rail service in the north of England.

It comes ahead of plans by union RMT to lobby Parliament about the proposals on November 4.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT is delighted that we now have more than 50 MPs on board with our campaign to stop the attacks outlined in the Government and Rail North proposals for rail services that serve millions of people coast to coast, right across the North.

“Let’s not forget that the core of the Government’s future plans for Northern and TPE is to axe jobs, restrict services, throw the guards off the trains and jack up fares while capacity to meet surging rail demand in the area is left to stagnate. Only an all-out and coordinated fight can stop the savage assault on rail in the North.”

The Department for Transport has previously dismissed the RMT’s concerns about the planned changes and have said £1 billion is being invested in northern rail services over the next five years, with ‘more seats and improved connections’ part of its plans.