For the fourth year running rail fare rises that are above inflation have come into effect in the UK, boosting the cost of travelling on the train network there. The increases have drawn criticism from groups representing passengers and opposition politicians. Fares that are regulated by the government, such as season tickets, rise by an average of 4.3% – about 1% more than inflation – but the private companies that run rail services have pushed up some unregulated fares by more than 7%. The largest average price rises, 7.3%, are on the Gatwick Express and Heathrow Express trains linking London to its two main airports. Cash fares for London’s underground trains and buses are among the highest in the world at six euros for a single journey. The British government’s Department of Transport defended the rises and said that it is spending record sums on improving the public transport network.