THE Green Party in the North West has today called for the railways to be brought back into public hands as rail fare rises for 2014 come into effect.

The party said that yesterday’s annual fare increase means that train fares are now rising three times faster than wages - at an average of 2.8 per cent.

It says the Green Party’s MP Caroline Lucas, is leading on this issue in parliament by garnering support from MPs to sign a parliamentary motion calling for the re-nationalisation of UK railways.

It is listed for a second reading on February 28.

Peter Cranie, the North West Green Party’s lead European election candidate, commented: “Commuters returning to work yesterday have been hit hard at a time when wages remain stagnant.

"The Green Party believes that trains shouldn’t be run for private profit and so we’re campaigning for re-nationalisation of the railways.

"Taking back expired franchises, or franchises from companies failing to meet set conditions could save the government over £1 billion annually. This money should be reinvested in services, and used to reduce fares.”

Mr Cranie added: “UK rail travellers are already paying some of the highest fares in Europe and for that that they have to endure overcrowded trains and unreliable services."