Inflation-busting rail fares increase

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RAIL fares could rise by as much as 11 per cent next year - despite inflation only standing at 3.2 per cent last month.

The average increase operating companies are being allowed to make from January 2013 is the July 2012 inflation figure plus 3 per cent.

But train firms are being allowed to raise some fares by an additional 5 per cent.

Companies serving South Yorkshire’s routes say they will decide what increases to make later in the year.

A spokeswoman for Northern Rail, which operates the bulk of local services, said: “The cost of our average journey is just £2.35 and travelling with Northern is often cheaper and quicker than the car or the bus for similar journeys.

“However, we know these are difficult financial times, which is why we will continue to work with the Government and the wider rail industry to drive down the cost of running the railway to provide better long-term value for money for passengers and taxpayers.”

The Government says fares must go up to reduce the amount of public subsidy paid to the railways,

However, rail unions and the Campaign for Better Transport fear poorer people will be priced off the network.