SOLIHULL rail commuters returning to work after the festive break are facing inflation-busting fare rises for the 10th year in a row.
The Campaign for Better Transport, CBT, have claimed some season ticket holders have seen the cost of their journey rise by more than 50 per cent since 2003 and have launched a petition to try to end the fare hikes.
While the average ticket price this year has increased by 3.9 per cent, or 4.2 per cent for season ticket holders.
CBT chief executive Stephen Joseph condemned the increases as “truly shocking”.
“The impact of successive governments’ policies on rail fares is appalling,” he added.
“We have deliberately made getting the train to work an extravagance that many struggle to afford. The time has come not just to stop the rises but to reduce fares.”
The TUC said average train fares have risen nearly three times faster than average incomes since 2008.
CBT found commuter fares rose by 54 per cent in the last decade after the Government introduced its above inflation formula to set ticket prices, the Retail Prices Index plus one per cent.
It means passengers travelling between Worcester and Birmingham Moor Street will now pay £1,240 for a season ticket compared with £816 in 2003.
But the Association of Train Operating Companies said it was the Government, not rail bosses, that set the annual season ticket rise.
Chief executive Michael Roberts said: “Successive governments have required train companies to increase the average price of season tickets every January since 2004 by more than inflation.”