BUSINESS groups and campaigners spoke out against the upcoming increase in railway fares.

A spokesman for Business West said: “According to a recent survey by the Rail Delivery Group, 81 per cent of passengers think updates to the fares system should be a priority for rail operators.

“Fare increases are one of the reasons for this, but more broadly this concerns the lack of coherence in terms of charging across the network.

“Business communities rely on the rail network to move people and goods, and need a modern, simple and logical fare regime.”

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The price increase will be based on the Retail Prices Index 2.8 per cent inflation measure for July. If the rise was linked to the Consumer Price Index instead of the Retail Price Index, it would only increase by 2.1 per cent.

Campaign for Better Transport chief executive Darren Shirley said: "“Passengers already pay thousands of pounds to endure overcrowding, delays and cancellations. It’s time to stop the rhetoric on fare increases.

"The government should commit to January’s fares rise being linked to CPI and a comprehensive package of rail fare reforms to rail fares should follow after the rail review is complete.”