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Rail fares cap will cut trip to London by £1

RAIL fare increases in England will rise in line with inflation, meaning people in Scotland using cross-border services will see prices go up 3.1% next month instead of the planned 4.1%.

The decision to cap regulated fare increases at Retail Price Index, instead of RPI+1%, comes months after the Scottish Government promised the same for people using Scotrail services. Regulated fares include season tickets, single and off-peak journeys.

The increases mean a return fare from Glasgow or Edinburgh to London will be about £1 cheaper than it would have been with RPI+1%.

The UK Government sets fare increases for rail services in England and cross-Border services while the devolved governments in Scotland and Wales set the tariff for their own domestic services.

David Sidebottom, director of independent public body Passenger Focus, said: "This brings an end to a decade of inflation- busting fare rises and will be welcome news to passengers in England, especially those who rely on the train for work.

"It is something we have been pushing for for several years now, and we are pleased the Government has recognised the need to act to relieve the burden on hard-pressed passengers."

However, train companies will still be allowed to put some regulated fares up by a limit of 2% above the RPI cap - that is, by as much as 5.1% - as long as the average rise is no more than 3.1%.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, welcomed the decision, adding he now wanted "to see an end to annual fare hikes altogether, with a freeze in 2015".

But although welcoming the fares' decision, the Campaign For Better Transport, said: "Ticket prices will still rise three times faster than wages and above-inflation rises are still on the cards for 2015 and beyond."

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