1. ITV Report

Season tickets rise to £4,500

The £4,500 season ticket is becoming a reality for commuters in the new year Photo: PA/PA Wire

Rail season ticket holders are facing average fare rises of 4.2% in January, meaning many season tickets are passing the £4,500 mark for the first time.

Passenger Focus reports that the largest rise will be for travellers from Canterbury to London, who will see their fares go up to £4,860 a year. A full list of the fare rises is below.

  • Aylesbury to London - up 3.2% to £3,632
  • Bournemouth to London - up 4.2% to £5,988
  • Cambridge to London - up 3.8% to £4,400
  • Canterbury to London - up 5.9% to £4,860
  • Colchester to London - up 4.1% to £4,556
  • Eastbourne to London - up 4.1% to £4,228
  • Gillingham to London - up 4.2% to £3,672
  • Guildford to London - up 4.3% to £3,224
  • Hove to London (Victoria) - up 4.1% to £3,860
  • Huntingdon to London - up 4.2% to £4,700
  • Oxford to London - up 4.2% to £4,532
  • Peterborough to London - up 4.2% to £6,888
  • Portsmouth to London - up 4.2% to £4,668
  • Reading to London - up 4.2% to £3,960
  • Shenfield to London - down 0.6% to £2,704
  • Tonbridge to London - up 5.2% to £3,796

"After years of above-inflation fare rises, fresh increases are piling pressure on already high fares. The Government and the rail industry must now work together to deliver on the welcome promise to get fare rises in line with inflation."

– Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus Chief Executive
Rail travellers queue at the ticket booth at Victoria Station Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The rises could have been steeper, but for an intervention by the Government to limit the regulated fare rise to RPI inflation (as of July 2012) plus 1%, rather than the planned RPI plus 3% increase.

"Thousands of commuters across south east England will be paying more than £5,000 a year for their season tickets because of the Government's unfair annual inflation-plus fare rises... these are the huge sums hard-pressed families have to find just to get to work each day. Conservative and Lib Dem MPs have their own fares paid for by the taxpayer. If they didn't, they would not be so willing to vote for such intolerable fare hikes."

– Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union

"Family budgets are being squeezed, so that is why this Coalition Government has taken pro-active steps to cut the planned fare rises from 3% to 1% above inflation until 2014. This decision puts an average of £45 per year back into the pockets of over a quarter of a million annual season ticket holders. Many more holders of weekly and monthly season tickets could also see lower fare rises and some commuters could be over £100 better off. It is misleading to search for the highest increase and then imply that represents the average, as some I am afraid will do. It's worth noting that some fares, such as the season ticket from Shenfield to London, are actually going down."

– Norman Baker MP, Rail Minister