Rail commuters have been hit further in the pocket after some stations raised car parking fees above the rate of inflation, a study by the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) has discovered.
After another hefty hike in train fares in the New Year, the TSSA said that passengers are experiencing "daylight robbery" following their return to work after the Christmas break.
Passengers in the South of England have faced the biggest price rises above the current inflation rate of 2.1%.
"This is little more than daylight robbery by the private rail firms," said Manuel Cortes, TSSA general secretary. "Passengers have been caught in the crossfire because bosses are determined to get around the Government's cap of 3.1% on rail fare rises, and squeeze yet more money out of them."
"Passengers may have escaped the bullet of inflation plus increases last week but they have now been hit by another bullet-car parking rising higher than the rate of inflation. There can be no justification for these increases at all when wages are rising by less than 1%."
The TSSA has called on the Government to include parking charges in the regulated rail fares formula, which is set by ministers.
"Some of these increases are eye watering when you think that thousands of commuters in the South East are now paying £5,000 a year for their annual season ticket," Mr Cortes added.
"Passengers will see this as a back-door rise hitting them just after the new year fares increase," David Sidebottom, acting chief executive of Passenger Focus, said.
"Less than half of passengers are satisfied with car parking facilities at stations, but as they are not regulated they can be a soft target for train company price hikes. If charges have to go up we would hope to see some of the money spent on improving facilities for passengers."
Copyright Press Association 2014