Rail passengers were today urged to protest directly to the Prime Minister over the planned 6.2% increases in fares in the new year.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) called on rail users to sign a Downing Street e-petition pressing David Cameron to cancel the rise and freeze fares instead.
General-secretary Manuel Cortes, speaking at the TUC Congress in Brighton, pointed out that the coalition had already increased fares by 12% since June 2010.
"The latest increase will mean an 18% hike in three years and a total increase of 25% in the full five years of this Government.
"We must send a message to Downing Street that that sort of punishment for rail passengers is completely unacceptable.
"The Prime Minister keeps saying we are all in the age of austerity together. Well rail passengers will simply regard that as hogwash given the hammering they have taken from this Government.
"He must do a U-turn on these increases before January and he must do it soon."
If the petition attracts more than 100,000 signatures, a debate can be held on the floor of the House of Commons.