COMMUTERS between Huntingdon, St Neots and London could see their average annual ticket rise by around £200 next year.

The Government has told train operators that they may increase ticket fares by an average of 4.1 per cent, one per cent higher than the July Retail Price Index on which it is based. Since 2004, season ticket prices have been regulated at one per cent higher than inflation.

It means that the cost of an annual season ticket from Huntingdon to London Kings Cross could cost around £4,892, an increase of almost £200, from January when the prices go up.

The cost of an annual ticket from Huntingdon to London, including a travelcard, would cost around £6,137, up from £5,896 this year. From St Neots, the yearly ticket could be increased by £233.54 to £5,929.54.

First Capital Connect (FCC), which operates trains between Huntingdonshire and London, raised season ticket prices this year by 4.2 per cent, in line with the regulated rise, increased the unregulated off-peak day returns by 2.9 per cent and froze super off-peak and bank holiday fares for the second year running.

A spokesman said: "We will see no increase in profit - which is less than three pence in the pound - as a result of these rises. Government determines the average season ticket price rise and since 2004, it has been Government policy to allow regulated fares to rise above inflation in order to support investment in more trains, better stations and faster services."

He added that it was too early to say what the prices would be set at.

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