Train fares to increase by 11%

Passengers will be hit by a 11% rise in fares as train operators plan to push prices of ticket at a time of recession.

Rail companies plan to increase the unregulated fares from next month.

National Express East Coast tops the list of highest ticket prices followed by The First Great Western, East Midlands Trains, First Capital Connect and CrossCountry companies, who are also putting some fares up.

Annual rises on regulated fares, which include season tickets, are decided on a formula linked to the retail price index (RPI) inflation level in July of any one year. The formula is RPI plus 1%, which meant that the January 2009 regulated fare rise averaged 6%.

The price-rise formula will stay in place, despite the latest RPI fall to minus 0.4%, said transport secretary Geoff Hoon.

Commenting on the unregulated fare rises, Gerry Doherty, leader of the TSSA transport union, said: "This is a real rip-off even by the low standards of the rail companies when it comes to jacking up fares."

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