Rail commuters in England facing inflation-busting season ticket increases are being given some respite, as the Government is curbing the amount fares can rise by.

Average regulated fares in England, which include season tickets, increase annually each January in line with July's Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation rate + 1%.

This means in the new year, passengers face rises of 4.1% (see our Cheap Train Tickets guide to cut travel costs).

But the increase is an average figure, and each train company has been able to hike some individual fares by up to 5% above this figure. This means some travellers could have seen price hikes of up to 9.1% from next year.

Now the Department for Transport is capping rail fare rises at 2% above July's RPI + 1% formula. This means that in January, no regulated fare can go up by more than 6.1%.

The cap is part of the Government's fares and ticketing review, which has been published today by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. He says the move could save some commuters as much as £200 a year.

In Scotland, average regulated fares can only rise by July's RPI. The new year fare rise in Wales is yet to be announced.

Martin Lewis
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Additional reporting by the Press Association.

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