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Railhub Archive
1998-03-30 OPR-001


Conditions met for FirstGroup takeover of Great Western

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Great Western

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Conditions met for FirstGroup takeover of Great Western

related documents

1998-03-06 £75million of additional passenger benefits agreed with FirstGroup plc (OPRAF)


30 March 1998
source OPRAF
type Press release

Franchising Director John O'Brien today confirmed his approval of the change of control of Great Western Holdings Ltd (GWHL) to FirstGroup PLC.

The takeover was ratified by shareholders of both companies today.

The Franchising Director announced his conditional approval on 6 March, subject to a £75million package of passenger benefits being provided across the franchises currently operated by GWHL (Great Western and North Western Trains) and FirstGroup's existing franchise (Great Eastern).

As a result of consultations since that time, the following additional benefits for passengers have been secured: North Western Trains NWT will pay for the full refurbishment cost of the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (PTE) Class 150 vehicles.

NWT will pay half of the share of the Merseytravel PTE Class 142 refurbishment costs that were originally to be paid by Merseytravel PTE.

NWT will add £200,000 to the £1million already agreed for additional passenger benefits.

FirstGroup and NWT will give Greater Manchester PTE undertakings on bus/rail competition in the greater Manchester PTE area.

NWT will commit to introducing the Merseytravel TRIO ticket in a wider area on a no net loss basis.

A penalty regime will be introduced which will apply in the event of late introduction into service of the new rolling stock already committed to under the franchise agreement.

This will apply from the summer timetable change date in May 2000.

Great Western

A similar penalty regime for new rolling stock not in service to be introduced.

The other benefits agreed on 6 March remain as announced.

Mr O'Brien said today: "I am pleased to be able to announce that this deal will now bring even greater benefits to passengers.

I had very constructive discussions with interested parties and with FirstGroup, who took a positive approach to meeting their concerns.

I can therefore now confirm my approval of the change of control.

" Notes to editors 1.

Once legal documents are completed they will be placed on the Franchising Director's public register.


GWHL took over the North Western Trains franchise in March 1997.

The franchise was for seven years and one month.

On 6 March 1998 the Franchising Director announced his conditional approval of a change of control to FirstGroup PLC.

The change of control will give control of North Western Trains and Great Western to First Group PLC, who already operate the Great Eastern franchise.

Railhub Archive ::: 1998-03-30 OPR-001


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