PROTESTS against rail fare increases were held by Stroud Labour Party outside several train stations in the Five Valleys on Tuesday.

The demonstrations in Stroud, Stonehouse and Cam, saw calls from Labour activists for the rail network to be re-nationalised.

Stroud Labour Party organised the protests to coincide with a national day of action to draw attention to increases in fares for passengers.

On Tuesday, it was announced that regulated rail fares would go up by 3.5 per cent from January next year following the release of July’s inflation figures.

Former MP and Labour’s parliamentary candidate David Drew, who took part in the Stroud protest, said: “A publicly-owned railway would provide a far better deal for passengers and taxpayers.”

“You only have to look at the success of the publicly owned East Coast main line which put £16 million back into the treasury in just one year.”

However, Stroud’s Tory MP Neil Carmichael hit back at Labour, branding re-nationalisation “a blast from the past”.

He insisted that there had been more investment in the railway network since privatisation occurred.