Rail fares rise by up to 6.5 per cent

Rail passengers face price rises of up to nearly 6.5 per cent in the new year, it was confirmed yesterday.

Commuters in parts of Kent will see the biggest rises, with the cost of travelling to London reaching £4,940 per year as part of a programme of above-inflation ticket price increases.

"Passengers will feel this pain. After years of above-inflation fare rises, fresh increases are piling pressure on already high fares," said Passenger Focus chief executive, Anthony Smith.

Rail operators were allowed by the Government to increase prices by the Retail Price Index plus one per cent, meaning that some tickets could cost as much as 6.46 per cent more as long as the cost increase across their range of fares was no more than 4.2 per cent.