Commuters in Huntingdonshire affected by rail delays of 15 minutes will be able to claim compensation for the first time, following new rules announced by government.

Earlier this year the Department of Transport (DoT) revealed new rules, which means that compensation deals between operators will be uniform.

After an initial roll-out on Southern trains, operated by Govia Thameslink Railways (GTR), Great Northern, which is also operated by Govia, has announced that its network will now benefit from the same scheme.

Charles Horton, GTR's chief executive, said: "Our passengers will be the first to benefit from this enhanced delay repay scheme. It is something our passengers have been telling us they wanted for some time so I am delighted we are able to deliver it to them.

"Our aim is to get passengers where they want to go on time, but if we don't, it is right that they are compensated."

From Sunday, passengers using Great Northern services will be able to benefit from GTR's Delay Repay 15 scheme.

This will enable them to claim compensation for delays to their journey of 15 minutes or more, rather than the current 30 minute threshold.

In response to the new rules, rail minister, Paul Maynard, said: "We are determined to ensure passengers are confident in the service and value they will get if they choose to travel by rail.

"Of course, we must constantly strive to improve punctuality but if things go wrong, passengers need to know they will be compensated fairly.

"We have been working with partners in the rail industry to ensure passengers are aware of their right to recompense for disruption and, at the same time, we are making the claim process simpler and swifter so that it is easier and more attractive to apply."

In 2015/16 GTR was paid more than £22million and paid out £2.3million to its passengers in compensation.