Commuters will face rail fare increases of almost 3 per cent in the new year, with the average season ticket hitting £3,000 for the first time, a new analysis suggests.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) is on Wednesday expected to confirm RPI at between 2.7 and 3 per cent, leaving rail users facing another round of inflation-busting price hikes in January.
According to an analysis by Labour, which has compared fares on 183 train routes across the country, commuters can now expect to be paying up £3,067 for their season ticket, up from £2,980 last year.
Rail fares increase at the start of January each year and under government policy are capped at the retail prices index (RPI) rate of inflation from the previous July.
Compared with the consumer price index (CPI), which has been running at 1.9 per cent, it represents an above-inflation increase.
While train companies are under no obligation to increase their prices to meet the cap, the majority have done in recent years.
The rise is likely to come despite Grant Shapps, the new Transport Secretary, expressing concerns that “train punctuality” had declined over the past years, a trend he said which had infuriated commuters.