Commuters condemn rail firms as season ticket prices rise by nearly 3%

Season tickets will increase in price by 2.8% next year Credit: PA Images

Commuters in Leeds have condemned train operators for offering an "atrocious" service after news broke of an increase in season ticket costs of almost 3% from next year.

Some rail users in the the region suggested that prices should be dropping to reflect the quality of the service they experience, with one branding the rise as a "shambles and a disgrace".

Allison James, 59, catches a mid-morning service from Batley, West Yorkshire, to Leeds for her job as a retail worker but was running late as a result of train delays.

After news broke of the fare increases for 2020, she said the price of a ticket comes out of her own pocket, saying: "It's gone up a lot since I first started coming into Leeds for work, and now it's going up again."

Rise in regulated rail fares graph Credit: PA graphics

The cap on the annual rise in regulated fares is linked to July’s rate of Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation, which was announced by the Office for National Statistics as 2.8%.

Some commuters will have to fork out more than £100 extra for season tickets - already among the highest in Europe.

Rail campaign groups warned that commuters will “refuse to pay” if season ticket prices continue to be hiked.

They have also called for the lower Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation to be used to set fare increases, which are implemented from January 2 2020.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he was 'not delighted' about increasing rail fares Credit: PA Images

The CPI rate increased to 2.1% last month, the ONS said.

The UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments regulate rises in around half of fares, including season tickets on most commuter routes, some off-peak return tickets on long-distance journeys and tickets for travel around major cities at any time.

A cap on how much they can be increased is pegged to the July RPI figure, except for off-peak fares in Scotland for which RPI-1% is used.

Rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road said regulated fares went up by an average of 2.8% in January 2019, following the July 2018 RPI figure of 3.2%.