Commuters are paying £950 more for their season ticket than a decade ago, new analysis shows, as the Government hikes fares by 2.6% today.

Labour found that the average commuter will now be paying £3,144 for their season ticket, a 43% increase since 2010 worth around £950.

Analysis of 180 train routes found some passengers will be paying up to £3,450 more to travel to work than in 2010.

Fares are due to increase by 2.6% in England and Wales today after the traditional January increase was pushed back due to the pandemic.

Union bosses accused train operators of “profiteering” during the crisis, which has led to a slump in passenger numbers due to lockdown rules.

Shadow Transport Secretary Jim McMahon said: “This fare hike will make rail unaffordable for many and discourage people from getting back on to the network when lockdown restrictions ease in the coming months.”

People are preparing to return to offices this summer
People are preparing to return to offices this summer

Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: “This pandemic profiteering is totally unacceptable and rather than lining the pockets of big business, this money would be far better spent being reinvested in improving the rail network for passengers, and scrapping the pay freeze imposed on key worker rail staff.”

Manuel Cortes, leader of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, described the move as “lamentable”.

“Increasing fares at a time when demand for rail travel has plummeted due to the pandemic will do nothing to encourage the much-needed return of passengers,” he said.

“Instead, hiking fares in this way seriously risks increasing congestion on our roads, and the pollution and carbon emissions that goes along with such a spike.”

Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions for the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Ultimately, Government decides how much it wants passengers to pay towards the cost of running the railway, but to give passengers better value, we want to work with Government to recast how people buy their fares.”

He said passengers would get a more flexible system allowing them to plan in advance.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Passengers returning to the railway deserve punctual and reliable journeys at a fair price.

“This is the lowest increase in four years - despite unprecedented taxpayer support for the rail industry during the pandemic of around £10 billion, and billions more being spent on new infrastructure.

“By delaying the change in fares, passengers who needed to renew season tickets were able to get a better deal, and we will set out further plans to offer cheaper, more flexible tickets for commuters in due course.”