Commuters heckled Britain's rail bosses today as the industry jacked up prices well beyond inflation and average pay rises for the third year in a row.
Fares are set to rise by an average 4.2 per cent from January but a loophole will allow companies to raise prices on some routes by as much as 6.46 per cent.
The fare increases will hit commuters particularly hard. Workers across the country will have to shell out thousands of pounds more to travel to and from work on services that are notoriously overcrowded.
A season ticket from Northampton to London will rise by 4.7 per cent to £4,980 and Morpeth to Newcastle upon Tyne's 5 per cent hike will ratchet prices above £1,000.
But Kent will see the highest rises with many season tickets increasing above 5 per cent. Tonbridge to London will cost £3,796 and those living in Ramsgate and Dover will pay almost £5,000 - an extra 6.46 per cent.
The announcement marks the third straight year of fare increases outstripping both inflation and increases in earnings, rising by 5.9 per cent at the beginning of this year and 6.2 per cent the year before.
Rail bosses today blamed the price rises on coalition plans to cut their subsidies, with the Association of Train Operating Companies saying "successive governments" had sought to cut public spending on running costs.
But passengers remained unimpressed.
Eastbourne local Becky Irons, whose London commute will now cost £4,228 a year, expressed her anger on Twitter.
"I'm so glad it's now seen as a business rather than a service. I love paying tons of money for late trains and no seats," she wrote.
Hertfordshire accountant Andy Young wrote: "I'm in the same salary as 4.5 years ago. Tomorrow I'll see if my train fares remain at their 2008 levels still."
Meanwhile RMT union's general secretary Bob Crow described the move as "a full-frontal assault" on passengers.
Train companies were colluding with the government in the name of profit, he said.
And TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: "Conservative and Lib Dem MPs have their own fares paid for by the taxpayer.
"If they didn't, they would not be so willing to vote for such intolerable fare hikes."
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