UK train fares are set to rise by an average of 3.4 per cent next year, above the rate of inflation, the rail industry has revealed.
From 2 January 2018, all national rail fares will rise, including both regulated fares, like season tickets, and unregulated fares, including off-peak tickets.
The Rail Delivery Group said the average increase was below the regulated fares increase of 3.6 per cent, which was July's retail prices index measure.
Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said:
“Government controls increases to almost half of fares, including season tickets, with the rest heavily influenced by the payments train companies make to government. Alongside investment from the public and private sectors, money from fares is underpinning the partnership railway’s long-term plan to change and improve.
"Working together, our plan will secure £85bn of additional economic benefits while enabling further investment and improved journeys for customers, better connections to boost local communities and a bright future for our employees."
More than 97 per cent of money from fares goes back into improving and running the railway, the group said.
In the next 18 months, it added rail travel in many parts of the country will be "transformed", with more trains, better services and improved stations benefiting Crossrail, Thameslink, Edinburgh-Glasgow, Great Western, Waterloo and the South West, and upgrades in the Midlands and the North.
Last year, private investment in rail of £925m was the highest in a decade while government support for the industry was at a record low, the group said.
Rail companies are working together to deliver more than £50bn of improvements, including private sector investment of £11.6bn on 5,700 new train carriages by 2021, it said.
Alex Hayman, managing director of public markets at consumer group Which said:
This price hike will be another blow for passengers, many of whom continue to experience cancellations, delays, overcrowding and poor service from train companies.
For passengers to genuinely get value for money, they must be able to find the best ticket for their journey, cheaper fares must not be hidden and compensation must be paid where it is owed.