Railway passengers will face the biggest fare rise in five years this January
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The UK rail industry has recently announced that train fares across the nation will increase by 3.4% in January, marking the largest fare hike in five years. The rise will come into place on January 2nd, and will affect both season tickets and off-peak leisure tickets. The fare increase is influenced by the retail price index inflation rate, and is the biggest hike since January 2013 when fares rose by 3.9%. Passengers in the north of England face the greatest increase. It is believed that Northern Rail are set to rise prices by 4.7% and TransPennine Express by 4.6%. RMT Union's General Secretary Mick Cash called the increase "another kick in the teeth for customers" and private train companies are "laughing all the way to the bank". This follows on from research carried out by the RMT (Rail, Maritime & Transport) Union, which discovered rail fares have risen twice as much as the average person's weekly earnings since 2010 - increasing 32% as opposed to wages at 16%. Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group responded: "We are very aware of the pressures on people and the state of the economy and are making sure everything we do is looking to improve and change and make the best use of that money". Whilst he did admit it was a significant increase, Plummer announced that 97% of fare income goes back into improving and running the railway.