1. ITV Report

Rail fares in the south set to rise in the new year

The price rise comes into effect on Wednesday 2nd January. Credit: PA

Commuters across the country will have to pay an average 3.1% more for their rail tickets after the new year.

According to the Office of Rail and Road Data, it is the largest increase since January 2013.

The price rise comes into effect on Wednesday 2nd January.

The increase will affect around 40% of fares, including season tickets, some off-peak return tickets on long-distance journeys and flexible tickets for use in major cities.

Scroll through the video below to see the new price of annual tickets to London from destinations across the South from 2nd January.

According to National Rail Enquiries, an annual season ticket from Brighton to London will now increase by £136.

When applying the percentage increase to an annual season ticket from Bournemouth to London Terminals, the price could increase by more than £200.

Fewer than half (45%) of passengers are satisfied with the value for money of train tickets, according to a survey by watchdog Transport Focus.

The organisation’s chief executive, Anthony Smith, said: "Many passengers, still reeling from summer timetable chaos and frustrated by ‘autumn’ disruption, won’t believe fares are going up again. Until day-to-day reliability returns – with fewer significant delays and cancellations – passenger trust won’t begin to recover."

Annual ticket from Swindon to London from 2nd January (was £8,740)
Credit: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire/PA Images

Fares are underpinning a once-in-a-generation investment plan to improve the railway and politicians effectively determine that season ticket prices should change in line with other day-to-day costs to help fund this.

We understand that aspects of the current fares system are frustrating for people which is why as part of the industry’s plan, train companies are also leading a consultation to update regulation and improve the range of fares on offer, making the system simpler and easier to use for customers."

– Paul Plummer, Chief Executive, Rail Delivery Group

For the sixth year running, the Government has frozen regulated fares in line with inflation. Fares are set by operators but capped by the Government. Since 2014 fares have, on average, remained below the annual inflation cap. Any fare increase is unwelcome, but it is not fair to ask people who do not use trains to pay more for those who do. Taxpayers already subsidise the network by more than £4 billion a year - meaning that 54% of our transport budget is spent on the 2% of journeys that the railway accounts for."

– Department for Transport