Train fares to jump by 6.2% in the New Year
January looks set to be a miserable month for commuters as train fares are set to rise by an average of 6.2%, it was confirmed today by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC).
This takes the average price paid for a single journey from £4.89 to £5.19, according to the Office of Rail Regulation.
However, ATOC hasn't given a breakdown of how the fares will affect each separate train company – so some people could see their fares increase by even more.
ATOC has also failed to break down the increases into regulated fares – which include season tickets and saver tickets – and unregulated fares, which include off-peak tickets. Unregulated fares aren't linked to inflation, so could jump even further.
Michael Roberts, chief executive of ATOC, says: "We know times are tough for many people but next year's fare increases will ensure that Britain can continue investing in its railways.
"More and more people are travelling by train and demand is expected to double in the coming decades so it is more important than ever that money is spent on providing better stations, more trains and faster services. Money invested through fares has helped to bring about the record levels of customer satisfaction and punctuality on the railways today.
"But, in the longer term we need reform which drives down the cost of the railways by relying more heavily on the innovation and resources of the private sector to give passengers a better service and taxpayers better value for money," he adds.
The hikes come just after Osborne's swingeing budget cuts back in October. He announced that from 2012, the cap on regulated fare increases will be upped, meaning prices will be capped at inflation plus 3%, rather than the current cap of inflation plus 1%.
Read our guide to finding cheap train tickets here.
An increase in the general level of prices that persists over a period of time. The inflation rate is a measure of the average change over a period, usually 12 months. If inflation is up 4%, this means the price of products and services is 4% higher than a year earlier, requiring we spend and extra 4% to buy the same things we bought 12 months ago and that any savings and investments must generate 4% (after any taxes) to keep pace with inflation. Since 2003, the Bank of England has used the consumer prices index (CPI) as its official measure of inflation (see also retail prices index).