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2002-08-09 GOA-001
The Go-Ahead Group

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Rail franchise replacement


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The Go-Ahead Group

Rail franchise replacement
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date
9 August 2002
source The Go-Ahead Group
type Press release



The Board of Go-Ahead announces that GoVia, Go-Ahead's 65% owned subsidiary, has
reached agreement in principle with the Strategic Rail Authority (the 'SRA') on
a proposed new seven year franchise agreement for South Central terminating in
December 2009. The current franchise is due to expire in May 2003. This
extension follows the SRA's decision that, despite lengthy and detailed
negotiations, the originally proposed 20 year franchise could not satisfy its
requirements for value for money and affordability.

GoVia will no longer be required to lead the infrastructure projects associated
with the 20 year franchise proposal, significantly reducing the risks associated
with the franchise.

The SRA has also agreed with GoVia that it is the SRA's firm intention to
negotiate a new franchise for Thameslink to 2009. Both franchise extensions
recognise the current uncertainties surrounding Thameslink 2000 and the need for
South Central and Thameslink to work closely together with the SRA in delivering
this project. The two franchises will provide for termination up to two years
earlier at SRA discretion.

Based on the current terms of the agreement in principle, the Board of Go-Ahead
is confident that there will be no material change to the financial prospects of
the Group.

Go-Ahead is currently in separate negotiations with the SRA for a two year
extension to the Thames Trains franchise, again currently due to expire in April
2004.

The Board of Go-Ahead will update shareholders once agreement on the detailed
terms of the franchises has been reached.

For further enquiries please call:

The Go-Ahead Group plc 0191 232 3123
Christopher Moyes, Group Deputy Chief Executive
Ian Butcher, Group Finance Director

Weber Shandwick Square Mile 020 7950 2800
Rachel Child


Railhub Archive ::: 2002-08-09 GOA-001





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