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'Martial arts' man arrested on Sheffield to Leeds train

British Transport Police are appealing for witnesses to a man doing martial arts moves and threatening passengers on a train between Leeds and Sheffield.

The incident took place at around 1.30 pm on Saturday, 13 December on board an Arriva Cross Country train.

The man was reportedly acting strange and doing martial arts moves on Sheffield station before he boarded the train to Leeds. Once on the service he began to verbally threaten a number of passengers with violence.

The 27-year-old man from Sheffield was arrested in Leeds in connection with the incident. He has been released on police bail.

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"Lively demonstrations" promised in the run up to Christmas

Union members have held a protest outside Hull Paragon Railway Station over the new franchise for Northern & Trans-Pennine rail routes.

Protestors voice their concern over changes to Northern & Trans-Pennine rail routes Credit: Jess Hurd / RMT

Members gathered between 9.30am and 11.30am to gather support for their campaign. They say plans will lead to worse services and higher fares. They also fear there could be job cuts, including the loss of train conductors.

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Passengers warned to expect more flight delays today

Air traffic control company NATS warned passenger that it will take some time for flight scheduling to fully recover despite their computer systems having been restored.

Following a technical failure at Swanwick, the system has been restored.

However, it will take time for operations across the UK to recover so passengers should contact their airline for the status of their flight.

We apologise for any delays and the inconvenience this may have caused.

Further information will be released as it becomes available.

– NATS

Flight restrictions lifted at Leeds Bradford Airport

The airport say they have managed to avoid any cancellations and are working to clear the backlog in flight times.

Passengers are advised to contact their airlines for information about delays.

Leeds Bradford Airport: Outbound flights suspended

Tony Hallwood, Aviation Development & Marketing Director at Leeds Bradford International Airport confirmed that all flights out of the airport are currently suspended.

However, all flights on approach to the airport have landed and says their focus now is on getting the situation resolved as quickly as possible, based on guidance from Nats.

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Huddersfield Railway Station praised as one of the nation's finest

Huddersfield Railway Station, which was once described by former Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman as “the most splendid in England”, has been named in the top five of great stations by English Heritage.

Huddersfield Railway Station Credit: Engish Heritage

Huddersfield, which faces out across the revamped St George’s Square, is a Grade I listed building, and English Heritage deserves its place because it is “fronted by a magnificent classical portico” .

It was designed by the architect James Pigott Pritchett and built by the firm of Joseph Kaye between 1846 and 1850.

The station is well known in architectural circles for its classical-style facade, with a portico of the Corinthian order, consisting of six columns in width and two in depth, which dominate the Square.

There are currently six platforms in use, with TransPennine and Northern services using the station. Figures released last week show it was used for more than 4.6m journeys last year.

New East Coast mainline franchise confirmed

The Department for Transport today confirmed it has officially signed the East Coast rail franchise contract with Inter City Railways, a venture between Stagecoach and Virgin.

The eight-year deal will give passengers between London and Edinburgh more seats, more services and new trains from March next year.

Under the franchise agreement, Inter City Railways will provide passengers a host of benefits, including:

East Coast Mainline will be run by new company Inter City Railways
  • new services from London to key destinations, with 75 more station calls a day.
  • plans for new direct links to Huddersfield and Dewsbury
  • proposals for more trains to London from Bradford, Harrogate, Leeds, Lincoln, Shipley and York
  • 3,100 extra seats for the morning peak time into and out of King’s Cross by 2020
  • 12,200 additional seats – a 50% increase - across the entire train fleet;65 state-of-the-art Intercity Express trains brought into service from 2018, totalling 500 new carriages
  • reduction of journey times from London to Leeds by 14 minutes
  • a £140 million investment package to improve trains and stations.

“This is a fantastic deal which will give passengers on this vital route more seats, more services and new trains, and give British taxpayers outstanding value for money.

“With the signing of the contract, Stagecoach and Virgin are firmly on track to deliver these improvements.

"The new services have only been made possible by the government’s investment in the railways, a vital part of our long term economic plan.”

– Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin

"This is a hugely exciting time for the passengers, businesses and communities who benefit from rail services on the East Coast route.

"Around £140m will be invested under the new franchise in delivering an improved service and a more personalised travel experience for customers, on top of a whole new fleet of high quality trains.

"While the franchise officially begins in March next year, our team are already planning ahead to build on the strong pride, heritage and success at East Coast.

"In the coming months, we will be working closely with employees and the management team to ensure a smooth transition to the new franchise.

"Stagecoach and our partners Virgin see investing in people and delivering great customer service as key to the future. We look forward to welcoming staff into the Stagecoach and Virgin family and making Virgin Trains East Coast a huge success."

– Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group
East Coast Mainline will be run by new company Inter City Railways

Inter City Railways will pay the government around £3.3 billion to operate the franchise.The company will now begin talks with Network Rail and the Office of Rail Regulation to agree its plans to run new direct services from London to a number of towns including Huddersfield.

It will also seek approval to run more trains to Leeds, Lincoln, Shipley, Harrogate and Bradford.

From 2018, Inter City Railways will take delivery of the new Intercity Express trains, to be assembled at Hitachi’s factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

By 2020 all of the 65 modern high-speed electric trains will be in service and will replace 39 existing trains. In addition to more seats, passengers will benefit from cleaner, more reliable trains and faster journeys.

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