- 12 updates
Rail Minister Claire Perry said she sympathises with passengers who have had to contend with "inflation-busting fare rises almost every year over the last decade" but insisted the Government was committed to "fair fares".
"We're a victim of our success" Michael Roberts, Director General of the Rail Delivery Group, representing train operators and Network Rail, said.
Mr Roberts told Good Morning Britain that the UK's trains are so busy because they are affordable, refuting claims that fare hikes are pricing people out of rail travel.
The cost of some train tickets could be almost 6% higher next year.
Rail commuters will be paying close attention to the announcement of last month's Retail Prices Index (RPI) figure today, as it will be used to calculate increases to next year's regulated fares, including season tickets.
Ticket price rises are capped at 1% plus the July RPI figure, expected to be around 2.6%.
Train companies can add another 2% to some fares, as long as the overall average remains as per the formula.
Campaigners say ticket prices are rising four times faster than the average wage and that the measurement used to calculate fare increases has been discredited.
The RMT union, which campaigns for the railways to return to public ownership, has said that next year's fare rise is a "kick in the teeth" for rail passengers.
Rail travel is being pushed "out the reach of some ordinary people" by fare increases, the head of a public transport advocacy group said.
Stephen Joseph, executive director of the Campaign for Better Transport, told Good Morning Britain that Government-dictated ticket price hikes mean rail fares are rising four times faster than wages.
Commuters will find out how much rail fares are likely to rise by next year when the Retail Price Index (RPI) for last month is released today.
The annual increase is capped at July's RPI plus 1%, with an extra 2% added to some tickets.
Responding to news that inflation as measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) in July 2014 was 2.5 per cent, David Sidebottom, Passenger Focus director, said:
“Many passengers will be concerned about today’s news giving the latest inflation figures which determine regulated train fares from January next year.
"If this follows some previous years of RPI +1 per cent1, this could mean, on average, that fares will increase by 3.5 per cent next January.
"We know from our own research that value for money is a key priority for rail passengers.
"Our most recent National Rail Passenger Survey put passenger satisfaction on value for money amongst commuters as low as 31 per cent.
"This level of fare increase puts more pressure on the railways to ensure passengers get an excellent service for the money they are paying.”
“We hope the government will step in again as it did last year, to ensure that train fares in England do not rise above the rate of inflation announced tod
Rail fares could rise by up to 5.5 % in January.
RPI, just announced, is 2.5% and the Government could impose an extra one per cent to pay for investment in the network.
Train companies are then allowed to put some fares up by up to two per cent on top.
That could means rises of up to 5.5%.
In real terms that could mean passengers paying £200 to £400 a year more.
The Government say a final decision will be taken later in the year.
Campaigners say fares are up 20% in four years while average wage rises have been 7% and it is time to halt the hearty increases.
Rail passengers will today learn just how much their season tickets will rise in January next year.
The new-year rise, determined by today's RPI inflation figure, will take the overall increase in fares to around 24.7% during this Parliament, according to the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT).
The current annual price-rise formula is for regulated fares, which include season tickets, to rise by the rate of RPI plus 1%, which could see average fares going up around 3.6% if RPI remains at its June 2014 level of 2.6%. Train companies also have a "flex" rule which allows them to raise some regulated fares by 2% above the average as long the overall average remains at the RPI plus 1% level. This means some fares could go by around 5.6% in the new year.
The TUC says people are being "increasingly squeezed" by the fare hikes.
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