The price of rail tickets is set to increase in January, the Association of Train Operating Companies has announced.
Unregulated fares including cheap day returns, long distance open and advance fares will increase by 5.4%. Passengers who buy season tickets, savers and standard day returns will find their fares rising by an average of 4.8%.
ATOC said the rises, which are above the rate of inflation, reflected the Government’s decision to cut its subsidies to train operators, so that the cost of the service falls more on users than general taxpayers.
Increases were also needed for improvements at stations, to pay for new trains and to fund rail expansion schemes such as the London Crossrail scheme.
ATOC general director George Muir said: “We need the revenue from fares to pay for investment for the benefit of passengers. We are providing a higher-performing railway with new, refurbished and more punctual trains and better stations.”
Passenger groups and unions condemned the move. Chief executive of consumer watchdog Passenger Focus Anthony Smith said: “Passengers wil be dismayed that fares are going up again, especially as on most routes they have no choice about which train company to use.”