Train fares in Britain will increase by an average of 2.3% from 2 January, the Rail Delivery Group announced on Friday (2 December).
The industry body, which represents train operators and Network Rail, acknowledged the move was likely to prove unpopular with already disgruntled customers, but insisted it was working to improve services and simplify fares.
The increase in regulated fares, which includes season tickets, is capped at July's RPI inflation rate of 1.9%. However, unregulated fares such as off-peak fares, can be increased by as much as train companies deem necessary.
"We understand how passengers feel when fares go up, and we know that in some places they haven't always got the service they pay for," said Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group. "Around 97p in every pound passengers pay goes back into running and improving services."
Lianna Etkind of the Campaign for Better Transport warned the latest increase could result in people being priced off railways. "The train operating companies and the government need to work closely together to provide fairer, simpler and cheaper fares making sure people are always sold the cheapest ticket available," she said.
"Between 1995 and 2016 passengers have seen average fares increase by 23.5% and much more needs to be done by train operators and the government to give them a truly affordable railway."
Etkind also pointed out the need for the government to introduce flexible season tickets with "fair discounts" for part-time workers. "It is not right that part-time workers have to buy expensive one-off tickets, or season tickets, which they then waste on the days they don't work."
More to follow...