The Government is facing mounting pressure to reconsider its 6.2 per cent rail fare rise for commuters in the south announced on Tuesday.
Passenger groups and unions say they'll stage a massive campaign to get the figure reduced and MPs will raise the issue in the Commons when Parliament returns in two weeks time after the summer break.
One Cabinet member has told Meridian the issue will be "raised urgently" and Ministers "are well aware of the anger at the high rises." The Government have ordered the rises to help pay for billions of pounds worth of investment in the network.
Passengers were dealt an unexpectedly high rise after inflation was more than expected. Average fare rises are based on the figure published this week and three per cent on top. RPI (Retail Prices Index) was expected to be 2.7 per cent but was in fact 3.2 per cent.
In the Meridian region, the average annual ticket to London is between £3,000 and £4,000. The average rise will be around £250.
Meridian Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse says "It is inevitable the Government will have toreview the high figure. Passengers have been dealt a cruel blow because of the higher than expected inflation figure.Campaign groups and the unions will mount a massive campaign in September and even rail executives are concerned at the increases they will have to impose. The Government may find it is under so much pressure it has to take action."