HAMPSHIRE rail users are demanding government action on the eve of huge fare rises and after suffering a month of strikes.

With price hikes set from tomorrow commuters are likely to be facing another wave of strikes in February.

Fares will rise on average by 2.7 per cent meaning an annual ticket from Southampton Central to London Waterloo will cost £6,044 - an increase of £164 from £5,880.

Pushed to breaking point, passengers have now finally “had enough”.

According to Jeremy Varns from campaign group South Western Railway Watch frustrations are growing over the lack of government intervention.

He said: “Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he wants to “unlock the nation’s potential” and invest in the country’s infrastructure. A top priority for the new government must be to expand public transport and reform the way services and managed and funded.”

Meanwhile, coordinator of South Hampshire Rail Users’ Group, Denis Fryer, added: “Unfortunately, there has been little political will to contain rail fare increases since privatisation, and season tickets cost increasingly large percentages of commuters’ incomes.

“While Government points to increasing investment in rail, there is limited tangible evidence of improvements in the Wessex area. The canopies on Southampton Central station are more like something from a derelict farm outbuilding.”

David Sidebottom, director of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “Passengers have had enough of the ongoing industrial action on South Western Railway services. They have faced lost time, money, more driving and deep frustration at not being able to rely on the trains

“It is vital that the parties in this dispute get back around the table to urgently resolve it without bringing the railway to a standstill.”

Tory MP for Southampton Itchen, added: “Most people understand why rail fares increase particularly when we can see the improvements to the frequency of service and vastly improved comfort of carriages.

However, when trains are being delayed and cancelled or there is standing room only, as is too often the case, then it is hard to justify any increases at all.”

A spokesperson for SWR said: “Passengers will be extremely frustrated that after strikes through December and January, the RMT union is trying to take this dispute into yet another year. We’re open to talks with the union.”

The Daily Echo has contacted RMT for comment.