Friends Throw Punches to Stop Second Great Train Robbery

In mid-April, as part of a week-long national campaign, Manchester Friends of the Earth and friends took to Victoria Station with a clear message: the railways are essential to a sustainable transport system and yet the Government is drastically underfunding them.

A giant punch bag was erected, and Richard Dyer, campaigner with Friends of the Earth EW&NI, donned the guise of station announcer. Pretend station announcements, such as "A decent rail system for the North West has been delayed due to the wrong type of Chancellor", caught the imagination of commuters and media alike. Commuters were given leaflets asking them to send a text message or email to Gordon Brown demanding more investment in the railways. Nationally, over the whole week, in excess of 4400 of these messages were received by the treasury.

If you find yourself on a delayed train, then you can email the Chancellor by sending a text message from a mobile phone to 07764 125 125 or visit

This lobbying is backed up by research to suggest how the extra money could be found. FoE await the Government's reponse.

Graeme, Manchester FoE (0161 834 8221,
Photos: © Alex Philips Friends of the Earth

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