Ticket barriers

The rail industry has announced train fares in Britain will rise an average of 2.3% from 2 January next year.

The increase will cover both regulated fares, such as regulated fares, and unregulated fares, including off-peak leisure tickets.

Currently, firms can increase regulated fares each year by no more than the inflation figure, but unregulated fares face no cap.

Earlier this year, Labour called to take rail services into public ownership after it was revealed regulated fares would rise by 1.9% after July’s Retail Price Index inflation rate was revealed.

Following this news, TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Rail passengers are paying more and getting even less. Fares go up while trains remain overcrowded, stations are unstaffed, and rail companies cut the guards who ensure journeys run smoothly and safely.

"Enough is enough. It’s time for rail services to be publicly owned, saving money for passengers and taxpayers alike.”

The announcement that fares will now rise even more is a "kick in the teeth" for British passengers, according to Mick Cash, general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT).

He said: “It condemns them to continue to pay some of the highest fares in Europe to travel on rammed out and unreliable trains.

"Once again the rip-off private train companies are laughing all the way to the bank as they whack up fares and axe staff in all-out dash to maximise their profits.

"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."

However, Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group which represents train operators and Network Rail defended the fare increase.

He 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.

"This money helps government to support the biggest investment in our railway since Victorian times."

The news comes after it was revealed more than 84,000 passengers on Southern Rail are to receive a month's compensation for the disruption they have experienced during this summer.

The government said the delays were caused by "Network Rail track failures, engineering works, unacceptably poor performance by the operator and the actions of the RMT union."