By Jonathan Davies

Rail fares will go up by an average of 2.2% in January, the lowest rise for five years, the rail industry has confirmed.

Regulated will go up by July's inflation figure as measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) of 2.5%. In September, the government said that any future rail increases would be capped at RPI plus 1%.

Regulated fares include things like season tickets, anytime singles and off-peak returns on longer journeys.

The announcement comes days after the Chancellor George Osborne confirmed the increase in the Autumn Statement.

Northern Ireland's rail fares are set separately and have not risen since 2013. And Scotland will not see a rise in off-peak fares, but peak fares will go up by 2.5%.

In September, George Osborne announced that the so-called "flex rule", which allowed fares to up go 2% above RPI, would be scrapped.

Michael Roberts, director general of the Rail Delivery Group said that Network Rail would be investing an average of £27m a day on improving rail lines.

He said: "For every pound spent on fares, 97p goes on track, train, staff and other costs, while 3p goes in profits earned by train companies for running services on Europe's fastest-growing railway.

"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."

Mike Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime & Transport (RMT) union, said: The scandal of Britain's great rail fares rip off with today's hike far out stripping average pay increases and it will once again hit those at the sharp end of the austerity clampdown the hardest".

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