RAIL fares may not rise as sharply as expected next year after a lower price cap was announced by the Government.

Previously train operators could raise some ticket prices by as much as five per cent above inflation, as long as the average fare hike was only one percent.

However the Department for Transport announced today the overall cap will be reduced to two per cent.

The average price hike cap of one per cent above inflation remains, meaning an expected increase in season ticket prices of 4.1 per cent due from January 1 2014 is unaffected by the announcement.