More bad news for commuters, as train ticket prices across Britain are set to increase by an average of 2.7% in the New Year.
The announcement by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train companies, confirms unregulated fares such as off-peak leisure tickets are set to rise on Thursday 2 January.
The actual increases will vary from company to company – for example, London North Eastern Railway's fares will go up by an average of 1.2%, while South Western Railway tickets will go up by 2.8%.
The rise, is lower than the 3.1% increase at the start of 2019 and train companies say this is the third year in a row that average fares have been held below the benchmark inflation measure on which rises are based, however this still isn't great news for commuters , who will likely still face an increase of more than £100 in the annual cost of getting to work.
In August, it was confirmed that regulated fares, including season tickets, would go up by 2.8% from January.
Rail Delivery Group chief executive Paul Plummer said the extra money was allowing the train companies to invest in improvements to the network, including 1,000 extra services a week in 2020.
Depending on the General Election results, there may be a glimmer of hope, as Labour has announced what it is billing as the biggest ever plan to cut rail fares, promising that in government it would immediately reduce the price of season tickets and other regulated fares by a third, and introduce a wider simplification of the ticketing system should they win the election.
The plans – which would only affect fares in England as those in Wales and Scotland are devolved – would also seek to ensure part-time workers do not have to pay more per journey than season ticket holders, while those aged 16 and under would get free rail travel.
Looking at the polls, as of 1st December, it's looking likely that Labour will not get the chance to implement this election promise, with the Conservative Party currently leading the polls (Data supplied by You Gov), so it's probably worth factoring in the price increase to your New Year's budget!
What can I do to avoid paying more for my train ticket?
Anyone who books single or return tickets now for travel next year will pay the revised rates, though season ticket costs don't go up until Thursday 2 January.
Travellers aged 16-30, the over-60s, those with disabilities and adults who travel with kids may consider investing in a rail card, if they normally spend over £90 per year on rail travel. Most railcards cost £30 a year (£20 for disabled people) and get the holder a third off many fares.
If you're booking a return journey, check if two singles are cheaper. It may not always be the case, but it's worth a try.
Look for hidden promos - Lots of train companies have hidden promotions buried on their websites – which you won't find if you're going through a ticket booking website.
Consider using a discount rail travel service, such as TrainPal, who offer saving of up to 37% on travel, by booking in advance
Season ticket holders could renew early to save
If you're a season ticket holder, check if you can still pay 2018 fares if you buy before Thursday 2 January – only a small proportion of season tickets will be up for renewal during this period, and some companies won't let you purchase season tickets so far in advance, but for some it could be worth renewing a few days early.