The Department for Transport (DfT) have today, December 22, confirmed that regulated rail fares in England will rise by nearly 5% in 2024.

It comes as the DfT shared a cap of 4.9% for increases to most fares regulated by the Government.

The increase will mean season tickets, off-peak return tickets on long-distance routes and flexible tickets for travel around cities are likely to be more expensive from March 3.

The previous cap on increases in regulated fares was 5.9%.

Rail fares in England to rise by 4.9%

Confirming the increase, Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Having met our target of halving inflation across the economy, this is a significant intervention by the Government to cap the increase in rail fares below last year’s rise.

“Changed working patterns after the pandemic mean that our railways are still losing money and require significant subsidies, so this rise strikes a balance to keep our railways running, while not overburdening passengers.

“We remain committed to supporting the rail sector reform outdated working practices to help put it on a sustainable financial footing.”

Some regular train passengers have described the increase as "shambles", on X, formally Twitter, user shared: "shambles, most expensive in Europe, yet it fills the pockets of those in charge rather than providing efficient services."

Another said: "Public travel and train fares in particular are already extortionate! They want to encourage people to use public transport… make it make sense."

Others suggested that the fare rise will see fewer people using the rail network: "We should be encouraging people to catch the train, not making it more expensive and putting people off getting the train."

One X user added that they thought the rail rise would lead to busier roads: "And people are wondering why the roads are chaos.

"Make the prices right and more people will use public transport and get cars off the road. Instead, you price people out.

"It's never been about the public, it's always been about filling up your pockets."