CAMPAIGNERS are due to stage protests today over rail fare price hikes they claim will see costs of tickets along some regional routes soar.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), whose members were due to highlight the issue at Liverpool Lime Street this morning, say that based on retail price index increases, the cost of some fares could rise by 3.6p per cent in 2015.

It means some Merseyside routes could go up by as much as £37 in the next year, the union says.

Regulated rail fares – which include season tickets – are allowed to rise by July’s RPI figure of 2.6 plus one per cent, and would therefore increase by 3.6 per cent in January 2015.

According to the union, next year’s fare hikes will mean that rail fares will have increased by 24.9 per cent over the current parliament, 2010 to 2015, and have risen faster than wages in every year.

Over the same period, average earnings have increased by just 10.7 per cent, meaning rail fares have risen more than twice as fast as wages under the current government.

North West TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said: “It’s grim news for commuters that they face yet another year of fare hikes above inflation, while their wages keep dragging behind inflation.

“The cost to passengers of the failed privatisation of our railways keeps growing year on year. We’ve ended up with slower trains and higher fares than countries who have kept their trains in public hands.

“It’s time to stop private companies profiteering from our railways and to make sure that passengers and taxpayers’ money is reinvested to improve our services. The only way to do this is to bring our railways back under public ownership.”