‘Pay more for less’: Rail workers protest job losses amid rising fares at stations across England

The RMT trade union is warning of the ‘significant threat to railway safety and services’ posed by frontline job losses

Rail workers will protest at stations across England today against job losses and cuts to services, which come despite increased fares.

The General Secretary of RMT, the rail workers union, has said railways will be ‘less secure, less safe and less accessible’ despite being more expensive as a result of job losses.

Why are rail workers protesting?

There will be rush-hour protests organised by RMT members at train stations across England today.

Activists wish to draw attention to job losses which rail workers say will lead to safety issues on railways.

The RMT says these job losses and cuts to services being enforced while fares go up means the public are ‘paying more for less’.

The union has previously raised concerns about staffing levels having a detrimental impact on women’s safety, particularly on night trains, as well as accessibility.

Protests will take place at London Kings’ Cross, Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham New Street, Bristol Temple Meads, Clapham Junction and Leeds train station.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Despite rail fares going up again the government and rail companies are planning to slash rail services and thousands of frontline jobs at stations, on-trains and on safety critical infrastructure.

“That means our railways will be less secure, less safe and less accessible with more expensive rail fares; passengers will literally be paying more for less.

Lynch said the RMT has called on the government and rail companies to rule out cuts to rail services and staffing.

He added that rail workers are “furious” to be losing their jobs after being praised as key workers, despite the rail companies making “hundreds of millions in profits”.

Have rail fares gone up?

Rail fares in England and Wales saw their biggest rise since 2013 last week.

The cap on fare rises increased on 1 March, meaning ticket prices could go up by as much as 3.8%.

The rise is based on the rate of retail price inflation in July.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "We have protected passengers by delaying these fare rises by two months and, even then, opting for a figure well below current inflation rates.

"However, we must now look to recoup some of the £14 billion which was spent to keep vital services running throughout the pandemic in a way that is fair for all taxpayers.”