Brace yourselves commuters, for train fares are set to go up next year, rail industry leaders have confirmed.
On average, train fares will increase by 2.3 per cent (and that covers all national rail fares from 2 January 2017).
Firms can increase regulated fares – including season tickets – each year by no more than the inflation figure for July. For this year, the RPI measure was 1.9 per cent. Train firms set the rise for unregulated fares, like off-peak ones.
Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group which represents train operators and Network Rail, said: "We understand how passengers feel when fares go up and we know that in some places they haven't always got the service they pay for. Around 97p in every pound passengers pay goes back into running and improving services."
He also said that fares were "influenced by government policy" either through government-regulated fares such as season tickets or as a result of the payments train companies make to government.
Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said the latest hike in fares was "another kick in the teeth for British passengers".
"This culture of private greed on Britain's railways has to stop and RMT will step up the fight for a publicly owned railway where services and safety are the priority, not corporate profits," he said.
A spokesman for Southeastern, which will have an annual average fare increase of 1.8 per cent, said: "We understand that value for money is a priority for our passengers and that's why we are offering discounts and freezing prices on specific off-peak fares, which are the ones under our control."
Compensation for Southern commuters
It comes as the government announced this morning that Southern rail passengers, who have suffered months of delays and cancellations with unions planning more strikes over the festive period, will be repaid the equivalent of a month's travel.
Yesterday, the RMT union called off a three-day strike up to Christmas Eve, but announced a walkout to earlier in the week, a 48-hour strike from 19 December. Other strikes planned, remain set to go ahead.
And Govia Thameslink Railway, the parent firm of Southern rail, has announced it's launching legal action against train drivers' union Aslef to stop its industrial action over the festive period.
The union has planned strikes on Southern in the run-up to Christmas as well as a walkout in January. GTR has gone to the High Court, saying it infringes consumers' rights under EU law.
There were 1.7bn rail passenger journeys – that's more than 4.5m a day – across Britain in 2015-2016.