COMMUTERS have hit out at a proposal to increase rail fares by up to £150 a year.

After economists revealed the cost could rise by 3.5 per cent, angry passengers have blasted the move, branding it a “disgrace”.

Long distance passengers will be worst hit, with the inflation expected to add an additional £150 to their annual outlay.

If approved, the hike could see major increased to popular Scottish routes.

A peak-time single from Glasgow to Edinburgh would increase by 50p from its current £14.40 rate.

However, for those who use this commute daily, it adds up to an extra £115.92 a year.

Read more: Teacher accused of 'sexual activity' with pupil

The annual cost of a peak-time daily commute to Stirling would rise by £75.67, Dundee would increase by £140.07 and Aberdeen would shoot up an additional £223.79.

Commuters told the Evening Times it was unacceptable.

Scott Cumming, who travels to the city daily from Linlithgow, said: “It’s a lot. I would be pretty unhappy [if prices rose by 3.5 per cent].

“I use the route twice a day and I think the service is poor.

“It seems there’s a lot of problems with infrastructure which cause delays so it’s a lot to ask people to pay even more.”

While another passenger, who asked not to be named, said: “Trains are pretty reasonably priced on the odd occasion but that’s quite an increase for commuters.

Evening Times:

“But what can you do? People need to get the train after all.”

A Campaign for Better Transport spokesman urged the Government to “commit to a fares freeze”.

He said: “Given the mess surrounding the new timetable, the lack of improvements and the failure to deliver compensation, the Government cannot go on telling passengers that fare increases are justified.”

The exact fare hike will be confirmed tomorrow when the July Retail Prices Index measure of inflation is released by the Office for National Statistics.

Those figures are then used by the Department for Transport (DfT) to determine the annual rise in regulated train fares, which will come into force in January.

Read more: Love Island to return to Glasgow televisions with new Australian series

A DfT spokesman said: “Any fare increase is unwelcome, but it is not fair to ask people who do not use trains to pay more for those who do.”

While a Scottish Government spokesman added: “ScotRail’s fares increases are generally lower, on average, than those elsewhere in the UK.

“This is a result of our policy to place a cap that is lower than RPI on regulated off-peak fares increases, whereas the UK Government applies an increase at the level of RPI to all regulated fares.”

What readers have to say: 

Evening Times:

Emily Westwood, from Kilmarnock

“It’s not great. I live in London and travel up and down as much as possible to see my family but it’s expensive as it is. If it was for a flight then it’s fair enough but not a train journey.”

Evening Times:

Raymond Brown, form the East End

“I’m retired but if I was commuting I wouldn’t be pleased. I already use the bus because it’s free but they don’t give you anything like that on the train and it’s crazy prices. I was looking to get a train to Blackpool but you can’t justify it when a a bus to Carlisle and then to Blackpool is cheaper.”

Evening Times:

Mrs Boothe, from Garrowhill

“I’ve got a concession and that’s went up and up and up so if you’re buying a ticket everyday or going anywhere long distance it will have a really big impact on people.”

Evening Times:

David Sellars, who travels from Glasgow to Edinburgh for work

“I don’t commute but I travel between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh a lot for work. I’m not pleased. The cost keeps going up but the service keeps going down. I plan my whole schedule around trains, pay a lot of money and am let down.”

Evening Times:

Yuliana Petriv-Shaw, from Milngavie

“Rail prices in the UK are already overpriced. From Milngavie to Glasgow isn’t too bad but when my parents lived in Norfolk and I was travelling down from St Andrews where I went to university, it was about £200 when I could get a flight for £9. An increase of 3.5 per cent doesn’t sound like a lot but over a year or two years it will make a difference to people.”

Read more: Rail passengers set to see fares soar next year - how much more expensive they could be