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COMMUTERS will be digging deeper into their pockets to travel on trains as they return to work today.

Rail fares have gone up by an average of 5.9 per cent – with a season ticket from Portsmouth to London going up from £3,920 to £4.060.

The hikes have come under widespread criticism.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the transport union RMT, said: ‘Today’s increase in rail fares is daylight robbery on the tracks and will do nothing more than pump up the profits of the private train operators.’

Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: ‘Money raised through fares helps to pay for better services.’ He said the goal of the increases was to make the industry more self-sustaining and not reliant on taxpayers.