RAIL passengers across the county said commuters have been left out of pocket for the past five years, as a one per cent price rise next January was announced.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics yesterday confirmed the rise in fares will be the lowest since 2010.

It means an annual season ticket from Oxford or Didcot to London stations including Paddington will increase by £47.88 to £4,835.88, while a ticket between Bicester North and London Marylebone or London Paddington will rise by £47.16 to £4,763.16.

It comes after a study by campaign group Action for Rail revealed train fares have risen nearly three times faster than wages over the past five years.

Chairman of Cherwell Rail User Group Chris Bates said the increase was “reasonable” but said rising rail fares had left commuters in the county “out of pocket” over the past five years.

He added: “Inflation is staying low. Lets hope it stays that way. The situation is improving, wages are now higher than inflation.”

The rise is based on July’s retail price index (RPI) inflation rate, which is used to calculate regulated train fares.

Action for Rail’s study revealed season tickets and other regulated fares had increased by 25 per cent since 2010, despite average pay rising by just nine per cent.

Earlier this year, the Government pledged to cap annual rises in regulated fares until 2020, announcing that prices would not rise more than RPI inflation.

But Mr Bates said he was concerned train companies could push up prices for unregulated fares, including off-peak journeys.

Train passenger Steve Blair, who pays £143.60 each week to commute between Didcot and London Paddington, said it was a “major concern” rail fares had increased faster than wages. The grandfather-of-one, from Grove, added: “It’s important for me to be able to get on a train and get to work. I have found it difficult, I suppose like everyone else.”

First Great Western media relations manager James Davis said: “Since 2004 the Government has sought to sustain investment in the railways by reducing the amount that taxpayers contribute and requiring passengers to pay a greater share.

“The money raised by Government through fares ensures investment in more trains, better stations and faster services.”

A Chiltern Railways spokeswoman said train companies will now start to calculate fares for next January, which are expected to be announced in December.

An annual season ticket from Banbury to London will rise by £54.12 to £5,466.12.