CLACTON MP Douglas Carswell claims increasing train fares are squeezing households.

He said the average train fare had risen by more than 20 per cent since 2010.

However, average weekly earnings in the Tendring district have hardly increased at all.

“According to the House of Commons Library, in 2010 the median income for a full-time employed person living in Tendring was £479 a week. It’s now £494,” said Mr Carswell.

“That £15 a week increase in incomes has barely kept pace with inflation.

“Yet train fares are automatically increased over and above inflation. It’s not right.

“On the one hand, incomes have hardly increased at all. On the other, rail fares have rocketed.

“That leaves lots of local people feeling the pinch. People who have to travel on the train have to pay. They've no option.”

He added: “That makes it like an extra burden of tax for many who work.

“Train fares have gone up, yet the level of service, in my view, has got worse.

“There are regular disruptions to services, and this has made life very difficult for commuters.”

The MP said the current model for running the railways was not working and called on the Government to change the way Network Rail was run.

Network Rail has admitted its performance had been below the standard passengers would expect and apologised to customers for problems affecting train services in recent weeks.