COMMUTERS delayed by 15 minutes or more will be able to claim a portion of their fare back ahead of a big price hike.

From today (December 1) a new South Western Railways refund policy comes into force which allows passengers held up by a quarter of an hour to claim a quarter of a single ticket price back, or 12.5 per cent for a return.

Trains delayed by 30 minutes or more will continue to be compensated 50 per cent for a single and 25 per cent for a return.

The slight kickback comes just before rail prices across the country are forecast to increase by 3.6 per cent.

It will be the biggest rise in five years and one that is 0.8 per cent higher than the inflation rate and 1.4 per cent higher than wage growth.

Christian Neill, head of customer experience for South Western Railway, said: "We recognise that every minute counts if you’re travelling by train - especially for busy commuters.

"Sometimes, unfortunately, things do go wrong, and we want to ensure fair compensation is offered to our passengers in these cases.

"The launch of our scheme to compensate passengers if their journey is delayed by 15 minutes or more shows our commitment to improving the South Western Railway customer experience."

The South Western Railway route runs through Reading, Winnersh, Wokingham and Bracknell to London Waterloo.