Bradford’s commuters face more misery as train fares are set to rise – with some season tickets costing hundreds of pounds more by 2016.

An announcement of July’s Retail Prices Index figure yesterday paved the way for the hikes which come into force in January. Next year, an annual season ticket between Bradford and Leeds is likely to rise from £908 to £964.30, and to £1,015 in 2014 and £1,144 by 2016, the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) fears.

Fare rises are based on July’s inflation rate of 3.2 per cent and Government rules mean rail operators can set fares at up to three per cent above the figure. The complex system means that some could go up by more than ten per cent – as long as prices on other routes are kept low. Analysis by the CBT on the likely impact of the announcement on some key commuting routes around Yorkshire shows some fares will soar by hundreds of pounds by 2016 if the same formula is used.

Between Bradford and Manchester annual tickets will soar from the current £2,236 to £2,374 in 2013, reaching £2,817 in 2016, it is predicted.

Northern Rail – which runs services on the Airedale, Wharfedale and Caldervale lines – said no decision had yet been made over pricing and prices would increase in January in line with all rail companies.

Bradford rail users’ groups are concerned that infrastructure problems and issues of overcrowding are not being solved despite the fare hikes.

James Vasey, of Bradford Rail Users’ Group, said: “The increase in costs is not meeting with significant improvements to infrastructure to West Yorkshire that is needed.

“In Bradford, last year, we were given a couple of extra peak hour trains but we’re not seeing the rail developments for places like Low Moor and Apperley Bridge .”

A spokesman for Northern Rail said: “The cost of our average journey is just £2.35 and travelling with Northern is often cheaper and quicker than the car or the bus for similar journeys. However, we know these are difficult financial times, which is why we will continue to work with the Government and the wider rail industry to drive down the cost of running the railway”