WEST Midlands Labour have slammed the government for the rise in train fares up to 2.6 per cent from March 1.

It says the average commuter will now be paying £3,144, for their season ticket, £950 or 43 per cent more than in 2010, and average fares have risen two-and-a-half times faster than wages.

It says the highest increase is projected to be on a Virgin Trains season ticket between Birmingham and London Euston, which will have risen by £3,467 since 2010 and now costs £11,204.

Jim McMahon MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, said: "Decisions taken by ministers are making rail travel unaffordable and discouraging people from getting back on to the network when restrictions ease, which will be vital for getting the sector on a stable footing.

"The truth is fragmented, privatised railway drives up costs and leaves passengers paying more for less.

In December the Department for Transport announced the rise would take place in March, two months later than the usual annual rise, and rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “By setting fares sensibly, and with the lowest actual increase for four years, we are ensuring that taxpayers are not overburdened for their unprecedented contribution.”