RAIL fares are to go up next year, it has been announced.

The cost of regulated rail fares will increase by 3.2%.

Around 40% of fares will rise by this amount in January, including season tickets on most commuter routes, some off-peak return tickets on long-distance journeys and Anytime tickets around major cities.

The price of these fares is controlled by the Government.

It uses the July Retail Price Index (RPI) measure of inflation - announced by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday - to determine the cap on the annual increase.

Many long-distance commuters will see the annual cost of getting to work increase by more than £100.

Rail, Maritime and Transport union general secretary Mick Cash said: "With passengers already furious at the shocking level of service on Britain's rip-off privatised railways, today's news is just another kick in the teeth that will come back to haunt both the Tory Government and the train companies alike.

"(Transport Secretary) Chris Grayling's desperate attempt to try and make front-line rail workers pay for his incompetence and the train operators' greed has backfired on him just like everything else he touches.

"If it wasn't for the profiteering and exploitation that is endemic after more than two decades of rail privatisation, we would have enough cash in the pot to invest in staffing and infrastructure and hold down fares at the same time.

"What will really stick in the throat of the long-suffering British public is the fact that three-quarters of our train services are now controlled by overseas operators, with the profits from today's fare rises shipped across the channel to subsidise passengers in Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam.

"Today's fare rise is just another nail in the coffin of Britain's rip-off privatised railways. It's no longer a question of if our rail services are renationalised, it's a question of when."

The Rail Delivery Group says 98p of every pound spent on train fares is invested back into the railway.