YORK MP Rachael Maskell says she is angry with the anticipated 3.5 per cent rise in commuters’ train fares next year.

The annual cost of getting to work for many long-distance travellers is expected to rise by more than £150.

The exact increase will be confirmed when the July Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation is released by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday.

But economists from Investec and the EY Item Club both predict the figure will be announced as 3.5 per cent.

The expected fare hike comes after the introduction of a new timetable in May caused widespread chaos in the North of England and on various London commuter lines.

Ms Maskell, Labour MP for York Central and Shadow Rail Minister, said: “After a summer of total chaos on our railways it beggars belief that we could have another increase of 3.5 per cent on our rail fares. This expected rise comes on top of all the increases people are seeing to their food bills, utility bills, rents and mortgages. It is appalling to learn that rail fares could increase by such a staggering amount when rail services are on their knees with cancelled trains and substandard services.

“A £150 increase on a season ticket is outrageous and it is simply unaffordable for so many people. We need a fully nationalised rail service with fares that are affordable and trains which run to the timetable. We want people to use trains rather than their cars as this is so much better for the environment. As the Shadow Rail Minister I am angry with this anticipated latest increase.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) uses July’s RPI to determine the annual increase in regulated train fares, which comes into force every January.

Regulated fares include season tickets on most commuter routes, some off-peak return tickets on long distance journeys and Anytime tickets around major cities.

These fares went up by 3.6 per cent this year.

A DfT spokesman said: “Any fare increase is unwelcome, but it is not fair to ask people who do not use trains to pay more for those who do.

“Taxpayers already subsidise the network by more than £4 billion a year - meaning that 38 per cent of our transport budget is spent on the two per cent of journeys that the railway accounts for.”