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:
Nobody likes to see rail fares go up. I don't like to see it and passengers don't like to see it. We are massively investing in the railways, with £130 million being spent here at Nottingham, £800 million at Reading and £600 million at Birmingham.
– Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary
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.
Asked why rail fares continue to rise, the chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies said it was in part to fund better services and in part to lower the contribution from the taxpayer.
Michael Roberts told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the government is trying to reduce the proportion of the cost of rail transport paid by the taxpayer to around 20 percent.