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Tickets to rise

In January expect an 8 percent rise to the cost of your train tickets, as train companies increase charges in line with inflation as measured by July's RPI (currently running at 5 percent) plus another 3 percentage points for good measure.

While not all rail companies will implement such a rise (Scotrail has indicated that it will only increase fares by the RPI rate plus one percentage point, while Merseyrail customers will see fares rise in line with RPI), the majority of rail customers will bit hit hard by the price hikes, with season tickets and off-peak saver tickets hit particularly bad.

Fares seem always to be on the rise, but it's got worse than it used to be. From 2004, the government tried to cap rises with a formula of RPI plus one percentage point, but this has been changed to RPI plus 3 percentage points for the next three years, and what's worse still is the rate of inflation is higher than in recent years.

The Association of Train Operating Companies justifies the price increases by saying that that by the more travellers have to pay the more the railways can be improved without a burden on taxes .The annual cost of running the railways is now pushing £10.5bn, of which around £6.5bn comes from fares and £4bn from the taxpayer.

Do the price rises mean you're guaranteed a seat on your daily commute? No sir, though take heart that if you're travelling in London these increases will not apply (though perhaps yet dreamed about ones will). The cost of travelling in London is set by the mayor's office, not central government and Transport for London stresses that next year's prices are yet to be set.

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