Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 16:58 UK

Eighteen charged after Ffos-y-Fran site railway demo

Protesters wanted to stop coal trains running from Ffos-y-Fran to Aberthaw power station

Eighteen people have been charged with obstructing the railway with intent after a protest at an open cast mine.

British Transport Police (BTP) said 11 men and seven women aged 21-55 were held on Monday afternoon on the railway at Ffos-y-Fran in Merthyr Tydfil.

BTP said eight were from Bristol, one from Bath and one from Swindon. Eight refused to give their addresses.

All those arrested were bailed to appear before Merthyr Tydfil magistrates on Monday 10 May.

Officers from South Wales Police and Gwent Police were called to scene on Monday.

Work to mine 10m tonnes of coal over 17 years from Ffos-y-Fran began in June 2007 after a public inquiry.

BTP said all 18 people arrested have been charged with Obstruction of the Railway with Intent, contrary to Section 35 of the Malicious Damage Act 1861.

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