As 2017 gets off to a tentative start, commuters are already having to face a harsh reality of the new year - the annual rise in the cost of commuting.
Most people may still be enjoying the bank holiday, but workers returning to work from today onwards will have to dig deeper as train fares rise by an average of 2.3 per cent.
Regulated fares such as season tickets will rise by 1.9 per cent (pegged to July's RPI) but some unregulated off-peak fares set by train companies will rise by as much as seven per cent on some routes.
And that increasing cost, perhaps understandably, has sparked criticism from transport groups. The Campaign for Better Transport called it "another kick in the teeth for long-suffering rail passengers" while
Rail fares have risen by more than half in the last decade, and more crucially at double the rate of wages, according to research by Action for Rail.
However the Rail Delivery Group which represents train operators, defended the increasing cost of train travel. The group's chief executive Paul Plummer said:
"Nobody wants to pay more to travel to work and at the moment in some places people aren't getting the service they are paying for. However, increases to season tickets are set by government. Money from fares is helping to sustain investment in the longer, newer trains and more punctual journeys that passengers want."
Tell that to miserable travellers on Southern Rail, who face more disruption with further strikes planned for 9 January after disruption in tbe run up to Christmas and over the holiday period and which some passengers have said ruined their lives. According to a survey by the Association of British Commuters, one commuter detailed losing a job because they could not get in while another detailed the toll it had taken on their health.