Millions face biggest train fare hikes in a decade TOMORROW – how to avoid it

TRAIN passengers in England and Wales will be hit with the largest fare rise in nearly a decade tomorrow, with ticket prices increasing by up to 3.8%.The hike is the biggest jump in nine years.
1The price of some train tickets will increase from tomorrowCredit: Getty
All so-called “regulated” fares, which include season tickets, and some anytime and off-peak tickets, are affected.
Other tickets including first class and advance tickets aren’t subject to the same changes.
The annual fare increase has been capped to prevent it from being artificially high due to rising inflation, ministers said in December, when the hike was announced.
Train fares are calculated using the RPI rate of inflation measure which is announced in August each year.
Following the increase, an annual commute from Oxford to London including a London travelcard will increase by £245 to £6,700.
A yearly ticket from Tunbridge Wells to London including travel card will rise by more than £220 to £6,033.
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And the commute from Macclesfield to Manchester will leap by £84 to £2,284 a year.
But there are ways to avoid the increase.
Book in advance
If you need to take a one-off journey, you can book up to 12 weeks in advance to take advantage of cheaper tickets.
For some journeys, where the train companies estimate demand will be low, they sell a limited number of tickets 12 weeks before the date of travel at a significant discount.
These often come with more limited flexibility – for example “advance” tickets usually have to be used on a specific train.
It is also worth avoiding peak times if you can.
Try to avoid travelling between 6.30am-9.30am or 3.30pm-6.30pm.
Outside of these times you can buy off-peak tickets which are much cheaper than flexible anytime tickets.
Set up price alerts
Ticket booking websites often have alerts you can sign up which can help you track when to buy fares at the cheapest price.
The Trainline ticket alert tool is free and claims to save 61% on your tickets when you book ahead instead of buying them on the day.
However make sure you check fees before booking.
Split your journey
You can also use sites such as to find out whether buying multiple tickets is cheaper than buying one single.
For example, a single ticket from London to Manchester next Monday costs £66.10, or £28.60 if you buy a ticket from London to Crewe, and then another ticket from Crewe to Manchester.
However, this option might take longer.
Also, be aware that websites that help you find these tickets often charge a percentage for their fee. In the example above, that added more than £5 to the price of the ticket.
Renew early
Depending how much longer you have left on your season ticket, it may be worth renewing it today so you still pay this year’s prices.
The way to work out whether this is worth doing is to work out how many weeks …