Rail commuters face an increase in season ticket prices of 1.6% despite people being urged to return to workplaces.
The cap on the annual rise in most regulated fares is linked to the previous July’s Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation, which was announced by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday.
Rail fares are usually increased every January, although there is speculation ministers are considering delaying the 2021 rise due to low passenger numbers .
The UK, Scottish and Welsh governments regulate rises for 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.
Office of Rail and Road figures show that between January 1995 – around the time the network was privatised – and January 2020, average fares increased in real terms by 21%.
The Rail Delivery Group says 98p of every £1 spent on train fares goes towards running and maintaining services.
Savvy commuters renew their season tickets in the days before the annual increase.
Passengers can save money by getting a railcard, travelling off-peak and booking in advance, although these options are not available for many journeys, particularly those made by commuters.