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With the New Year came news of increased rail fares, with some journey's fares being increased by up to 3.4 percent. This is the biggest rise in five years. Providers defended the rises, calling them necessary in order to improve the running of services. The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) responded this was a "kick in the teeth" to travellers.

Southern Rail has been hit with severe criticism after a National Audit Office report (NAO) published findings the provider had suffered the worst rail disruption in the UK and does not represent value for money.

In some cases commuters are forking out up to five times as much as their salary on commuting compared to other European cities.

Dream holidays cheaper than commuting

To take matters further, travel operator easyCar.com have conducted their own findings, reporting that some once-in-a-lifetime journeys cost less than our average commute.

Annual season tickets from Tonbridge in Kent to London Zones 1-6 have risen to a staggering £7,148. For that price, commuters could jet off and spend twelve nights luxury island hopping in Thailand, twice a year and still have change left over.

Commuters from Cambridge have also been directly affected. The yearly season ticket has risen to £6,300 which is the same price as an eight-day guided tour along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, not once but five times a year.

Those making the 35-minute train journey from Chelmsford to London could swap their £5,008 season ticket for two tickets on the Orient Express, and journey from London to Verona.

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Annual rail tickets for those commuting from Reading now cost £5,300. For just under that price, travellers could rent a car and road trip the entire length of America's Route 66 which spans Los Angeles in California to Chicago in Illinois, 11 times over.

If you journey from Brighton into London every day using Southern Rail, from 2 January 2018 you will pay £5,532. This is the equivalent of renting a private yacht to sail around the Greek islands, over a three week period of the year.

These findings put into perspective how expensive Londoner's annual commutes are.

Light at the end of the (train) tunnel?

Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond may have found the light at the end of the tunnel, announcing the introduction of a 'millennial railcard'. While this initiative received a mixed response from voters, the millennial rail card may see discounts of up to one third for travellers under the age of 30. This is expected to come into place in early 2018.