VIDEO: Protest over rail fare rises at Sheffield station

Protesters gathered at Sheffield station to spread the word about rail fare rises and campaign against private ownership of the railways.

Campaigners from Action for Rail handed out postcards to commuters urging them to send the cards - which call for an ‘affordable railway’ - to their MPs.

Rail fare protesters at Sheffield Station.

Rail fare protesters at Sheffield Station.

The protest took place as it was announced regulated rail fares would go up by 3.5 per cent from January 2015.

Campaigners were supported by Louise Haigh, the prospective parliamentary candidate for Sheffield Heeley.

She said from January 2015 a rail season ticket for travel between Sheffield and Doncaster would rise to £1,003.

It will cost £3,531 to commute between Sheffield and Manchester, and £2,391 to travel between Sheffield and Leeds - a rise of £83.

“We are campaigning for urgent public investment in the railway system,” she said.

“Commuters are being hit in the pocket, with some having to fork out an extra £123 a year for their rail tickets.

“It’s bad for the commuter and bad for the taxpayer as well - they are not benefiting from private ownership.

“It’s also bad for the environment - it’s cheaper for people to drive to Leeds than it is for them to get the train.

“We need urgent government investment so there is a better deal for commuters, the taxpayer and the environment.”

Jenny Patient from Sheffield Climate Alliance said: “Investing in public transport would not only be good for the environment, it would also create jobs.”

Steve Coe, assistant general secretary of rail union TSSA - the Transport Salaried Staffs Association - was also supporting the campaign.

He said: “Our members work in the industry and are suffering the effects of the railway being run for profit.”

Protests took place at stations countrywide.