Train fares in the UK will go up again. However, this time they rise by an average of 3.4% from 2 January 2018.
This is the biggest increase since 2013. It covers regulated fares, which include season tickets, and unregulated fares, such as off-peak leisure tickets.
The Rail Delivery Group admitted it was a “significant” rise. However it said that more than 97% of fare income went back into improving and running the railway.
London mayor Sadiq Khan has called it an “unacceptable fare increase”.
A passenger group said the rise was “a chill wind”. The RMT union called it a “kick in the teeth” for travellers.
The rise in regulated fares had already been capped at July’s Retail Prices Index inflation rate of 3.6%.
The fare increase is above the latest Consumer Prices Index inflation figure of 3%, which was a five-and-a-half year high.
The chief executive of passenger watchdog Transport Focus, Anthony Smith, said: “While substantial, welcome investment in new trains and improved track and signals is continuing, passengers are still seeing the basic promises made by the rail industry broken on too many days.”
One in nine trains (12%) has arrived late at its destination in the past 12 months.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union general secretary Mick Cash said: “These fare increases are another twist of the economic knife.
“The private train companies are laughing all the way to the bank.”
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The government carefully monitors how rail fares and average earnings change and keeps the way fare levels are calculated under review.
“We are investing in the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century to improve services for passengers – providing faster and better trains with more seats.”