CAMPAIGNERS have been out at Bridgwater Train Station rallying against the national 3.2 per cent rise in rail fares which came into effect this week.

Members of the Bridgwater Labour Party joined local trade unionists to hand out leaflets to commuters, arguing that the best long term solution would be nationalisation of the railways.

There were fellow protests held at Weston-Super-Mare and Highbridge as well as other stations along the Great Western Railway line.

The campaigners highlighted that average fares have risen nearly three times faster than wages, and were pleased with the public response.

Sedgemoor Labour campaign co-ordinator Gary Tucker said: “Many passengers took leaflets from us.

"The newspaper format seemed to go down well and gave them something to read on their onward journeys. Like clockwork, these private companies predictably announced a rise in prices well over three per cent which is obviously a disgrace.

"A Corbyn-led Labour government will end this fiasco and rightly bring them back under public ownership."

However this week Transport Secretary Chris Grayling accused trade unions of driving the increase in rail fares, telling BBC Radio 4 Today's programme that unions had demanded 'higher wage rises than anyone else' and threatened strikes if they did not get them.

In August the Government asked the train operators and Rail, Maritime and Transport Union(RMT) to use a different, lower inflation measure to set pay and fare increases, which the RMT opposed.

The rail industry says 98p of every pound spent on a ticket is invested back into the network.

The rise in England and Wales - the highest since January 2013 - will see the price of some annual season tickets go up by more than £100.

The Government also launched a discount railcard for 26 to 30 year-olds this week and said a railcard extending to 16 and 17 year-olds in full time education or training will be available in September.