Railway

Rail fares will go up by an average of 1.1% in January, the body representing Network Rail and train operators has announced.

Regulated rail fares will rise by a maximum of 1% because they are linked to the rate of inflation, as measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI), in July. However, operators can raise unregulated fares, like off-peak tickets, by as much as they like.

Rail Minister Claire Perry said the decision to link regulated rail fares to RPI would save the average season ticket holder £425 by 2020.

The RDG said the increase, which will take effect on 2 January, is the smallest average rise in six years.

RDG chief Paul Plummer acknowledged "that nobody likes to pay more to travel by train, especially to get to work", but explained that fares now almost cover all of rail companies' daily operating costs.

He said: "This allows government to focus its funding on building a bigger, better network when the railway is becoming increasingly important at driving economic growth, underpinning jobs, and connecting friends and families."

Martin Abrams, from the Campaign for Better Transport, said rail fares have gone up by 25% in the last five years, and called for more to be done to provide a "truly affordable railway".

He said: "To avoid pricing people off the railways, the train operating companies and the government need to work closely together to provide fairer, simpler and cheaper fares through flexible ticketing and making sure people are always sold the cheapest ticket available."