Children will be able to travel free on all National Rail services in the capital from the new year, London’s Mayor has said.

Boris Johnson has announced free travel for under 11s will be extended from Transport for London services to the National Rail network from January 2.

Children can currently travel free on Tubes, London buses, London Overground and Docklands Light Railway services, which has put many in south London at a disadvantage.

Other transport fares are to increase by 1 per cent but single bus fares and all but two pay as you go Tube charges will remain the same.

The revised charges, including a 10p increase to £2.40 for some Tube fares and a 20p rise to £17.20 for an all zones travelcard, are expected to raise £43m annually.

Mr Johnson said: "I'm delighted that we're able to yet again freeze overall fares in real terms for our passengers.

"It's the third year in a row that we've been able to offer this great deal, allowing us to keep the cost of travel down while continuing our vital programme to modernise the network.

"Hundreds of thousands of families will also benefit now that we've struck a deal to extend free travel for under 11s across all rail services in London.

"By securing this deal on national rail services, we are taking away the fares confusion for so many and opening up wider travel in the capital for families to enjoy."

London TravelWatch chairman Stephen Locke said: "We are pleased to see free travel for children under 11 being extended to all national rail services in London - another step towards a simplified fares structure which will increase consistency across travel modes in London and reduce confusion for passengers."

In August, Labour London Assembly member Valerie Shawcross, who chairs its transport committee, criticised the capital’s north-south divide over children’s free travel.

She said: “Whilst under 11s already get free travel on TfL networks, those living south of the river are significantly more likely to miss out when compared with their north London counterparts.”

Ms Shawcross pointed out that south of the river a child’s peak return from Orpington to Zone 6 in Charing Cross would cost £6.80 per child.

While a similar service north of the river from Rainham, also Zone 6, would be free.

Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon welcomed the free travel extension for children but said the mayor's package showed "a lack of ambition".

She suggested passengers could benefit from one-hour bus tickets and "early bird" fares could be introduced for lower paid workers, including cleaners and security staff, who travel to work in London's offices before most commuters.