The announcement that passengers would be hit by the biggest fares hike in five years came just a day before the region's biggest train operator starts to fine passengers £20 if they board a carriage without first buying a ticket.
It has been confirmed there will be an average 3.4 per cent increase, a rise dubbed "staggering" by critics.
The Rail Delivery Group has announced a nationwide increase from January the 2nd.
It is the largest rise since 2013, when fares increased by 3.9 per cent across the UK.
He added: "The cut agenda makes the railway system less safe while we are being asked to pay more".
Passenger watchdog Transport Focus compared the news to "a chill wind" blowing down platforms as many customers" incomes are stagnating or falling, while the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union called it a "kick in the teeth' for travellers.
Rail fares had increased on average by 2.3% this year, while they had risen by 2.8%, 2.2% and 1.1%, in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. "Private rail companies continue to cash in while passengers have to cough up". "It seems every couple of weeks part of Liverpool Street Station is closed and we have a backlog of freight trains that should have been moved elsewhere - and they are expecting us to pay 3.4% more".
One in nine trains (12%) failed to meet its punctuality target in the a year ago - meaning they arrived more than five minutes late for commuter services or 10 minutes late for long-distance journeys.
Official figures show the rate of fare increases over the last decade to be more than twice that of food and the Consumer Prices Index.
One in nine trains (12%) failed to meet the rail industry's punctuality target in the past 12 months.
Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which brings together train companies and Network Rail, adds: "Government controls increases to nearly half of fares, including season tickets, with the rest heavily influenced by the payments train companies make to government".
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