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Climate Rush risk arrest on train fares protest

Direct action group Climate Rush became 'unfair fare dodgers' last Saturday, to highlight ever increasing rail fares. The line they took, from London to Canterbury, has been hit by the highest fare hike in the country, and the fifty-seven protesters drew attention to this fact by paying just £7.40 instead of the full £27.40.

Calling it the Great Railway Adventure, fifty-seven environmental protesters travelled to Canterbury on Saturday 16th April, paying just £7.40 instead of the full £27.60.

The route for the fare dodge, organised by the non-violent direct action group Climate Rush, was chosen due to the high increase in fares for commuters on this line (12.7%), the highest of any fare hike in the country.

Musicians and well-wishers dressed as the Railway Children escorted the ‘unfair-fare dodgers’ to London Bridge station to wave them off. 

Louise Ellman MP, member of the Transport Select Committee, said in support of the Climate Rush protest:


"The Government should look again at its policy for ever increasing rail fares that are pricing people off the rail. Public transport deserves proper investment to help mobility and protect the environment."

Tamsin Omond, founder of Climate Rush, said:

"In 2007, 79% of the distance traveled by people in the UK was done by car whilst only 7% was traveled by over ground trains. Our current government wants to hike fares a massive 31% – the biggest fare increase for a generation – by the end of their 5 year term. We will continue to be conscientious objectors to excessive rail fares until we see a freeze on rail fares and an improvement in our rail service."

Once on board the protesters completed a petition sewn onto a 'protest train' of bunting, started by members of the Craftivist Collective group nationwide. A group of 15 cyclists also cycled to Canterbury in support.

This post was originally published on Liberal Conspiracy.

About the author

Sunny Hundal is a journalist and commentator, and the social media editor at openDemocracy.

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