Off-peak return rail tickets from Ipswich to London look set to break the £50 mark next year after the government approved a fare rise of almost 6%.

And commuters travelling to the capital every day can expect to pay more than £400 extra for an annual ticket from Ipswich.

The Department of Transport insists this is a good deal - before the pandemic fare rises were linked to the Retail Price Index the previous July.

Had this formula been used this year, it would have put up ticket prices by more than 12%.

The new fares are due to come in during March next year and train companies, including Greater Anglia, are expected to announce the exact figures towards the end of February.

The 5.9% figure relates to the overall fare package - it is not a limit on individual fare rises which are expected to be in a range near to that figure.

A rise of that order would put the cost of an off-peak return ticket from Ipswich to London up from £47.60 to £50.40 and an off-peak ticket from Ipswich to Norwich or Cambridge up from £20.40 to £21.60.

From Stowmarket an off-peak ticket to London would go up from £49.20 to £52.10 and from Manningtree it would rise from £42 to £44.40.

The rises do not affect advanced purchase fares for numbered seats on specific trains.

And at present there has been no attempt to reform ticket prices to make them less complex - it is still possible to save money by buying separate tickets for different parts of a journey, especially at weekends.

Using railcards or travelling as a group is also a good way of saving money on tickets.

And new part-time season tickets have been introduced for those who have to travel to London regularly, but not daily.

However, if you travel to the capital more than two days every week it would probably still work out cheaper to buy a full season ticket.