Norwich to London and Cambridge season tickets to rise 4.1pc

King's Lynn Train Station. Picture: Ian Burt

King's Lynn Train Station. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Many commuters will face above-inflation increases on their annual season tickets from next week, it has been revealed.

Annual season tickets from Norwich to London will increase 4.1pc to £7,480, from King's Lynn to London 3pc to £5,340 and from Norwich to Cambridge 4.1pc to £4,232.

Train companies in England have licence to put up regulated fares, which include season tickets, by as much as 2pc above the agreed price-increase figure which, for 2014, is 3.1pc.

Greater Anglia, which runs services from Norwich to London and Cambridge has put up fares by an average of 3.1pc and a spokesperson said: 'Annual fare rises help to maintain investment in the railways and are determined largely by government policy as confirmed in the Autumn Statement.'

Announcing the 2014 fare rises today, industry organisation the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said the overall average increase - taking all tickets into account - would be 2.8pc, which it said was the lowest overall increase in four years.

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Director general Michael Roberts said it showed the industry's determination to maintain the phenomenal growth in rail travel since the mid-1990s.

'Nobody likes paying more to travel by train, particularly to go to work, but billions are being spent to serve passengers better,' he added.

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But the Campaign for Better Transport chief executive Stephen Joseph said the government needed to do more to stop the squeeze on commuters and avoid 'pricing people off the railways'.

'Passengers will see season tickets going up three times faster than their wages,' he said. 'We need a permanent end to inflation-busting fare rises calculated using an out-of-date formula.'

The increase for any January is calculated from the RPI rate of inflation figure for the previous July, which was 3.1pc this year.

Unregulated fares - typically off-peak leisure tickets - are not capped.

Shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh said: 'It's completely unacceptable that passengers have had to wait until two days before Christmas to find out how much their season tickets will cost in the new year. People deserve timely information to budget effectively.'

She said rail fares had risen 20pc under the coalition and if Labour came to power it would remove the 'flex' and put a tough cap on rail fares.

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