While the average season ticket has gone up by 4.2%, campaigners and unions say the government is pricing ordinary people off the railway - even though the network carries record numbers each year.
Steven Joseph from the Campaign for Better Transport told the Today Programme: "We'd like the government to at least set a date for stopping above inflation fares rises, because it becomes in affect, a tax on work."
"Campaigning by us and many other people, has made it clear that people won't stand for this and that a 3% rise above inflation, which the government had originally intended to do, is simply unacceptable."
The transport minister, Liberal Democrat Norman Baker, replied: "In an ideal world, we wouldn't be having fare increases above inflation. We've inherited this policy from the last government. The only difference between us and them is that we've embarked on the biggest investment programme since the 19th Century."
"It's important that we try to get the best value for the passenger, best value for the tax payer and the simplest and most transparent fair structure we can."
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