CAMPAIGNERS set up shop outside Swindon train station last week to protest against the hike in rail fare charges.

Members of the Swindon Green Party were leafleting commuters on Thursday to make them aware of their campaign to bring the Great Western franchise back into public ownership when it expires in two years.

They claim it would be more economical to run the rail companies publicly than by private companies, and were campaigning on the day rail fares were increased by 3.1 per cent, the first time in five years the rise has been below inflation.

A petition has been launched by Molly Scott Cato, Green Party European Candidate for the South West.

She said:“Yet again passengers are being hit with rises in rail fares at a time when wages are stagnant and UK passengers are already paying some of the highest fares in Europe.”

But rail industry experts have welcomed the below inflationary fare increases, and have said vital infrastructure will benefit.