MANY commuters heading back to work today were struck with a hike in rail fares, which have been slammed by the Labour party.

Across the country rail ticket prices have risen by 3.4 per cent, the biggest increase since 2013.

It is expected that protests are set to be held at more than 40 stations around the county as on some routes season ticket holders will see the price of fare rise by more than £1,000.

In Basingstoke, one of the key commuter links into London, the Labour group believe that since the Conservative party has been in power residents have been unfairly hit with ‘eye-watering’ increases.

The Labour group said that rail users are paying 27 per cent more than they were before the Conservatives came into power in 2010.

Leader of the Basingstoke Labour group, councillor Paul Harvey said: “Passengers in Basingstoke have been hit again and again by eye-watering rail fare rises.

“Fares have now rocketed by 27 per cent since the Tories came to power, this is a hike much greater than the average increase in people’s wages. For many people here, travelling by train isn’t a luxury, it’s how they get to work every day. A season ticket to London now costs over £920 more every year.”

The Labour group claims that despite the continual increase in fares, rail users aren’t receiving a better standard in service, and according to the groups research the number of late trains has doubled since 2011.

Due to this, the Labour is once again calling for the railways to revert back to public ownership.

Chair of the Basingstoke Labour group Daniel O’Loughlin added: “Labour’s policy is to bring the railways into public ownership, so they can be run for passengers not profit. That means fairer fares, investment in a 21st century railway and listening to passengers.”

Paul Plummer, chief executive of industry trade body the Rail Delivery Group, said the fare changes would provide cash for better services and investment.