- 28 updates
Labour's shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle has said it is "unrealistic" to expect passengers who are already struggling with the rising cost of living to pay an extra 4.1 percent on average for rail fares.
She also attacked the government for allowing train companies to "fiddle" with the way it distributes the fare rise, resulting in a 9.1 percent increase for some passengers.
A Treasury spokeswoman has said that today's figures show that the "economy is on the mend" since inflation is almost half of its recent peak of 5.2% in September 2011.
Rail fares are increasing nearly twice as fast as incomes, outstripping wages by almost 14 percent since 2007, according to the Campaign for Better Transport.
This graph shows how rail fares and incomes became decoupled in 2007, with rail fares soaring far above increases in earnings.
The group also says that next year will be the eleventh successive year in which rail fares have risen above the level of inflation.
About 25 protesters calling for a cut in rail fares and a return to British Rail are staging a demonstration outside King's Cross Station in central London.
The campaign group Action for Rail has planned protests at 47 train stations across the country. Some of the larger stations include:
- Birmingham New Street
- London Waterloo
- Bristol Temple Meads
- Liverpool South Shields
The slight drop in the rate of inflation is due to air fares and price movements in the recreation, culture, clothing and footwear sectors, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
A rise in petrol and diesel prices partially offset the fall, the ONS said.
Regulated rail fares in England are set to rise by an average 4.1% from January after the headline rate of retail price index inflation fell to 3.1% in July from 3.3% in June.
The rate of consumer price index inflation fell to 2.8 percent in the year to July 2013, down from 2.9% in June, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The number of rail passenger journeys has increased dramatically from around 750 million per year to 1.5 billion, according to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has defended the expected rise in rail fares next year saying that the rail network is in need of "huge investment". He told the BBC:
Pressed to say when the government plans to end above-inflation fare rises, he said that the Office for Budget Responsibility has a target to do so in 2015.
He said that just over £8 billion was raised by ticket sales and just under £4 billion by taxpayers for the UK's rail services.