Birmingham rail commuters will face price hikes of about six per cent when they return to work after Christmas.

Regulated fares, which include peak time and season tickets, are linked to a government pricing structure and will rise by one per cent over inflation – a total of 5.8 per cent.

But unions warned some could still increase by up to 10 per cent.

Off-peak tickets will rise by an average 6.2 per cent across the rail network.

London Midland, which operates Birmingham’s Cross City Line between Redditch and Lichfield via New Street, will freeze its off-peak fares.

Passengers booking an advance one-way ticket between Birmingham New Street and London Euston on Virgin Trains will face an increase of 7.1 per cent.

Chiltern Railways fares will climb by 5.7 per cent and the operator promised its £5 advance fares would remain.

Association of Train Operating Companies’ chief executive Michael Roberts said: “We know times are tough for many people but next year’s fare increases will ensure Britain can continue investing in its railways.”

Operators will be allowed to increase fares by three per cent above inflation from January 2012 after the Government lifted caps to make passengers contribute more towards the cost of the railways.