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2001-02-08 SRA-002
Strategic Rail Authority

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SRA prepares for future Wales, Wessex and Thameslink franchises


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Thameslink
Wales
Wakles & Borders
Wales and Borders
Wessex
Wessex Trains



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Strategic Rail Authority

SRA prepares for future Wales, Wessex and Thameslink franchises
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date
8 February 2001
source Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release



The SRA has reached agreement with National Express Group plc (NEG) to extend the Cardiff Railway, Wales and West, and the Great Northern services in the West Anglia Great Northern (WAGN) franchises, from the current termination date of 31 March 2001 to 30 April 2004. This will ensure continuation of services until they can be transferred to the new Wales and Borders, Wessex and Thameslink franchises which are being negotiated under the SRA’s franchise replacement programme. The agreement contains provision for the existing franchises to be terminated when the new ones come on stream.

Under the deal, NEG has undertaken to restructure its operations in preparation for the new franchises. It will combine the Welsh services of Wales and West with Cardiff Railway services to form the core of the new Wales and Borders; establish the remaining Wales and West services as the basis of Wessex; and prepare WAGN’s Great Northern services (from Kings Cross and Moorgate) for transfer to the Thameslink franchise.

NEG has also agreed to reorganise its Central Trains services in preparation for transfer of the mid Wales services to Wales and Borders at a time of SRA’s choosing.

Over the remaining tenure periods, NEG has committed to maintain services at levels in the 2000-01 timetable and has adopted improved customer service commitments. Operating subsidies have been set at levels intended to reflect the costs, responsibilities and risks involved in providing the services and carrying out the restructuring process.

Notes to Editors
1. The Shadow SRA announced in September 2000 that eight companies had met the pre-qualification criteria to compete for the new Wales and Borders franchise. The SRA expects to announce soon which of these companies have been shortlisted for negotiation.

2. The Shadow SRA announced in November 2000 that it was setting up a new

Wessex franchise and requested that interested parties come forward. The SRA expects to announce soon the companies that have fulfilled the prequalification criteria.

3. The Shadow SRA announced in September 2000 that eight companies had met the pre-qualification criteria to compete for the new Thameslink franchise, which incorporates the Great Northern services in the current WAGN franchise.

Important Notice

This news release is issued by the Franchising Director and its contents have been approved for the purposes of section 57 of the Financial Services Act 1986 by KPMG Corporate Finance.

KPMG Corporate Finance is a division of KPMG which is authorised to carry on investment business by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. This news release has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended to form the basis of any investment decision or constitute an offer or invitation to bid for any passenger rail franchise or to acquire shares in a train operating company. Neither this news release nor any copy of it should be taken into or distributed in Canada, France, Japan or the United States except in accordance with an applicable exemption. The distribution of this news release in other jurisdictions may be restricted by law and therefore persons into whose possession this news release comes should inform themselves about and observe any such restrictions.

KPMG Corporate Finance is acting for the Franchising Director and will not regard any other person as its client in relation to passenger railway franchising or be responsible to anyone other than the Franchising Director for providing the protections afforded to clients of KPMG Corporate Finance nor for advising any other person on the contents of this news release or any matter referred to in it.

Media Enquiries: SRA Press Office: 0207 654 6339 / 6294 / 6324
More news and information about the SRA can be found on our relaunched website – www.sra.gov.uk.


Railhub Archive ::: 2001-02-08 SRA-002





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