TRAIN passengers are set to see the price of tickets rise next year after new rates were announced.

The increase will mean travellers pay 2.8 percent more for season tickets, the same increase as January this year.

Bolton Council's transport representative has raised concerns about the increase after new figures from consumer group Transport Focus showed only one in three passengers are happy with the service.

Cllr Stuart Haslam said: "I have every sympathy for passengers who are facing yet another hike in rail fares on the regulated tickets such as ordinary peak and off peak tickets, and season tickets. Regulated tickets amount to 45% of tickets sold.

"This comes at a time after passengers have endured some appalling conditions in their journeys in the last year with the chaos resulting from the may 2017 timetable change, and the issues caused by the delayed electrification of the Manchester – Bolton – Preston line which has resulted in capacity issues, too much overcrowding and train cancellations."

"It is very worrying that only a third of passengers consider rail travel good value for money. The whole of the rail industry including Network Rail have many issues to address to improve the experience of the passenger.

"Hopefully, now the electrification is in place and with new trains coming onto our services, travelling by train should be a more reliable and comfortable experience."

The fare hike will come into force in January 2020.

The rise is tied to inflation through the Retail Price Index (RPI) and Cllr Haslam, along with David Sidebottom, director at Transport Focus, have asked for the system to use the lower Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Mr Sidebottom said: “After a year of more stable – but still patchy – rail performance many rail passengers will be mystified that rail fares should be going up at all, let alone by 2.8 per cent next January.

“The National Rail Passenger Survey shows that less than one third (30%) of rail commuters are satisfied with the value for money of their ticket. Transport Focus believes it’s time for a fairer, clearer fares formula based on calculations that use the Consumer Prices Index, rather than the discredited Retail Price Index.”

However, train firms say the money will be used to improve services and will be filtered back into infrastructure projects and maintenance.

Robert Nisbet, from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), said: “No one wants to pay more to get to work but by holding rises down to no more than inflation, money from fares will continue to cover almost all of the day-to-day costs of running rail services.

"This means private sector and taxpayer money can go towards improving services for the long term.”