Commuters and other train passengers will be hit with the biggest rise in fares for nine years next year.
The Department for Transport said that ticket price increases in England would be capped at 3.8 per cent from the start of March.
The figure is in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation last July and will mean that a season ticket from Brighton to London, permitting any route, would go up £194 to £5,302 a year.
It will be the steepest increase since January 2013, according to figures from industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).
This year’s rise in fares was based on the previous July’s RPI plus one percentage point.
Increases are normally implemented on the first working day of every year but have been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris said that the 3.8 per cent rise was a “fair balance” which meant that the government could “continue to invest record amounts into a more modern, reliable railway, ease the burden on taxpayers and protect passengers from the highest RPI in years”.
He said that delaying the changes until March would enable people to save money by giving them longer to renew their tickets at current prices.
But Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh said that the “brutal” fare increase was “a nightmare before Christmas for millions of passengers”.
She added: “Families already facing soaring taxes and bills will now be clobbered with an eye-watering rise in the cost of the daily commute.”
One of the rail unions, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, accused the government of being “hell-bent on discouraging rail travel”, adding that the fare rise would “put yet more people off and price many out of rail travel completely”.
Demand for rail travel is more than 40 per cent below pre-coronavirus levels.