A bit of good news on this dreary December day. The rail regulator has confirmed that fares will rise by just 2.2 per cent in January, the lowest rise in five years.
In recent years beleaguered commuters have had to endure rises as high as eight per cent, but today rail industry body the Rail Delivery Group confirmed next year's rise, which takes effect on 2 January, will be capped at July's RPI figure.
The increase applies to "around half of fares", said National Rail, including season tickets, some off-peak return tickets on long distance journeys and most fares around major cities.
However, the increase is still above the government's core measure of inflation, and way above many commuters' annual payrises.
The Rail Delivery Group said for every pound spend on fares, "97p is spent on track, train, staff and other costs while 3p goes in profits earned by train companies".
Michael Roberts, the group's director general, added:
Over the next five years, Network Rail is spending on average £27m a day on a better railway, alongside commitments made by train companies to improve services. That will mean more seats, better stations and improved journeys.The industry is continuing to work together to get more for every pound we invest to enable government to make fares decisions which work best for passengers.