RAIL users could pay up to £100 more for their season tickets next year.

The Government has announced season ticket prices will increase by a maximum of 2.8 per cent next January, matching the rate of inflation.

This means it could cost residents £100 more every year to get to work.

Brighton RMT officer Paul Cox called the planned price hike "deplorable" and said passengers would benefit if rail service were taken back into public ownership.

He said: "Wage increases have been so small that increased ticket prices are taking out a lot of money.

"For some it's not viable to commute to London anymore, families are having to make sacrifices.

"The private sector can't always deliver what the public wants. When trains are public-owned, they're run in the public interest, but when private companies run trains, their ethos is to make profit.

"Even under British Rail, which was horribly under-funded, you still knew trains were being run for the public."

Campaign group We Own It echoed the RMT's calls for railways to be nationalised.

Officer Ellen Lees demanded Keith Williams, who is currently running a Government review into rail services, to end privatisation of rail companies.

She said said: "Passengers are at the end of their tether. Fares are already ridiculous and now we're set to pay 2.8% more for a shoddy service.  "Three out of four of us believe the railways belong in public ownership. That's why we're calling on Keith Williams to use his rail review to end the rip off, and end privatisation for good.”

But Trevor Tupper, of the West Sussex Rail Users Association, called for a different solution.

Price increases for season tickets are currently capped at the yearly rate of inflation, which measures how much prices of products increase every year.

Rail prices are currently measured against the retail price index (RPI), which measures the rise in cost of everyday products as well as housing and mortgages.

But Mr Tupper said a sensible option would be to cap season ticket increases at the consumer price index (CPI), which does not include mortgages and is generally lower than the RPI.

He said: "We're not happy about the increase, but we're stuck with it.

"The CPI is more in use in government now. But it's still the law to cap season ticket increases using the RPI and MPs don't seem to want to change it."

Mr Tupper said commuters should buy their annual tickets before January to avoid price increases.