BASINGSTOKE commuters will face rail fare increases of almost 3 per cent in the new year, with the average season ticket hitting £3,000 for the first time, analysis suggests. 

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) confirmed the RPI at between 2.8%, leaving rail users facing another round of price hikes in January. 

According to The Telegraph who has published analysis by Labour, commuters can now expect to be paying up £3,067 for their season ticket, up from £2,980 last year. 

Rail fares increase at the start of January each year and under government policy are capped at the retail prices index (RPI) rate of inflation from the previous July. 

Commuters have reacted with frustration to news that the cost of their train journeys will rise.

Some said they would be forced to ditch trains altogether while others demanded nationalisation and said increased prices are not reflected in the quality of the service.

Ticket costs are to rise from January in line with July's rate of Retail Prices Index inflation, which is used to set the cap on annual season ticket price hikes.

The announcement was met with dismay by some commuters at London Bridge station on Wednesday morning. James Reid, 58, said he pays roughly £12,000 per year for "badly organised" trains.

"I don't commute on a season ticket, but I use the rail service across the country and it's becoming incredibly expensive," the photographer said.

"2.8% (on top of) quite a lot of money already. Per year, I don't get much change out of £12,000 on fares."

Describing the service, he added: "Overcrowding, an immense amount of train failure - it's pretty badly organised really.

"It looks to me as if they're more interested in maxing out trains to be full, which I can get from a commercial point of view, but the problem is the customer is like a second-rate something or other."

College student Gemma Delgaty, 17, said she travels 50 minutes into London and her return ticket costs a "ridiculous" £26.

"Today I've had to get two Tubes and a bus because the trains have been delayed," she said. "How can you put the prices up when everyone is delayed all the time? "I won't be getting the train as much (if prices rise), I'll be driving. It's as simple as that."

Patrick Witter, 50, described his delayed journey on Wednesday as "typical" and called for a return to a nationalised service.

"Today is a typical day - it's raining, the trains are delayed so I'm now late," the freelance project manager said.

He said he travels around the country on trains but described the service as "not great, really, it could be better".

On the price hike, he added: "I don't think they should actually be doing that because if they believe in capitalism then you deliver a good service before you increase prices, and so far they're not meeting any of those criteria, are they?"

Jack Pinkham, 24, an account manager, said most of the journeys on his once-a-week commute to London are delayed.

Asked if the service was reflected in the roughly £30 ticket price, he said: "When it's delayed, absolutely not, which is more than not, nowadays.

"It's majority evening delays, morning isn't too bad." He said he has to stand during most journeys and described trains in Europe, where he travels regularly for work, as "10 times better".

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