GREEN Party councillors staged a protest at York Station calling for passengers to "make rail companies pay" for unreliable rail services.

The campaigners were outside the station from 7.30am on Wednesday speaking to rail users about the 3.1 per cent increase in rail fares which came into force this week. And they called on passengers to use the “Delay Repay” compensation scheme to “‘make the rail companies pay”.

York Green Group leader Cllr Andy D’Agorne said that the opinion polls showed that the British public think the railway network isn’t fit for purpose and something urgently needs to happen.

He said: “For train users in York, it feels like there is little we can do except wait – or if you can, ditch the train altogether.

“After another year of railway chaos, train passengers are being hit with up to a whopping 3.1% increase in ticket prices in spite of rail punctuality nationally being worst its been in 13 years, and those lucky enough to afford a ticket are packed like sardines into overcrowded carriages."

Robert Nisbet, regional director of industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said: "We understand that nobody wants to pay more for their journey to work but money from fares is underpinning record investment to build the better railway customers want and the country's economy needs.

"We want more people to benefit from the opportunities travelling by train opens up which is why we are pleased that the industry's 26-30 Railcard will go on sale today and we will support the government decision to reduce fares for 16 and 17 year olds.

"Everyone wants an easier to use range of fares which is why we will soon be unveiling the results of our consultation with proposals to government on overhauling outdated regulations that underpin the existing system."