TRAIN users will face a 3.4 per cent rise in their fares from January 2 next year.

The rise - which is the biggest in five years - was announced by the Rail Delivery Group yesterday. 

Tickets from Great Western Railway will go up by 3.1 per cent and Arriva Trains Wales will go up by 3.3 per cent. 

It is the largest rise since 2013, when fares increased by 3.9 per cent across the UK. 

Independent watchdog Transport Focus said "improving value for money is about more than ticket prices".

Chief executive of the watchdog Anthony Smith said: “A chill wind will blow down England’s platforms in January as rail fare increases bite.

"Many passengers face stagnant or falling incomes while rail fares continue to climb.

"It is time that the fairer, clearer Consumer Prices Index formula is used as the basis for rail fare rises rather than the increasingly outmoded Retail Price Index.

“While substantial, welcome investment in new trains and improved track and signals is continuing, passengers are still seeing the basic promises made by the rail industry broken on too many days.

"Passengers’ immediate priorities are clear: a more reliable railway, better handling of disruption and better value for money.”