Rail passengers in Huddersfield will be hit by the largest fare rises in five years next month.
Average ticket prices across Britain will rise by 3.4% on January 2, industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said.
It is the sharpest rise since 2013, when fares increased by 3.9%.
Passenger watchdog Transport Focus compared the news to “a chill wind” blowing down platforms as many passengers’ incomes are stagnating or falling.
Its chief executive, Anthony Smith, said: “While substantial, welcome investment in new trains and improved track and signals is continuing, passengers are still seeing the basic promises made by the rail industry broken on too many days.”
One in nine trains (12%) failed to meet the rail industry’s punctuality target in the past 12 months. That means they arrived at terminating stations more than five minutes late for commuter services or 10 minutes late for long-distance journeys.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union described the fares announcement as “another kick in the teeth” for passengers.
General secretary Mick Cash said: “For public sector workers and many others in our communities who have had their pay and benefits capped or frozen by this Government, these fare increases are another twist of the economic knife.
“The private train companies are laughing all the way to the bank.”
Fewer than half (47%) of passengers are satisfied with the value for money of train tickets, according to Transport Focus.
The Government uses the previous July’s Retail Prices Index measure of inflation to determine increases in regulated fares, which was 3.6%. These cover about half of all tickets and include season tickets on most commuter routes and some off-peak return tickets on long-distance journeys.
Train operating companies set the prices of other tickets, but are bound by competition rules.
Successive governments have reduced taxpayer funding of the railways and increased the relative contribution of passengers.
Labour’s shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald said the rise in rail fares highlighted the need for the network to be brought back into public ownership.
“This latest increase in rail fares is staggering,” he said. “Private rail companies continue to cash in while passengers and commuters have to cough up. The Tories should follow Labour’s example and commit to ending the scandal of train companies being run for profit rather than people.”
The RDG said more than 97p in every pound from fares goes back into improving and running the railway.
Chief executive Paul Plummer said the Government controlled increases to almost half of fares while the rest were “heavily influenced” by the payments train companies make as part of contracts to run franchises.
He said: “Alongside investment from the public and private sectors, money from fares is underpinning the partnership railway’s long-term plan to change and improve.”