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Wednesday 07 February, 2001

National Express

Response to SRA Announcement

National Express Group PLC
7 February 2001

7th February 2001

                          NATIONAL EXPRESS GROUP PLC


 Response to SRA announcement on Central Trains Franchise Replacement Process

National Express Group PLC ('National Express') notes today's announcement by
the SRA which states that the replacement process for the Central Trains
Franchise has been halted.

Commenting on the announcement, Richard Brown, Commercial Director, National
Express said: 'We are very surprised and disappointed by today's announcement.
However, it has become clear that there are complex policy issues that the SRA
has been trying to resolve with the PTEs concerned.

We submitted our initial proposals in January 2000. This was supplemented in
July 2000 when we provided detailed proposals to the SRA. We believed then,
and continue to believe, that these proposals contained a range of innovative
and exciting ideas which would have considerably improved services to
passengers throughout Central Trains extensive network.

Whilst we remain committed to the running of the franchise, we believe in the
longer term that halting this process is not in the interests of Central
Trains passengers who will see a delay in improvement to services. We shall be
seeking a meeting with the SRA to discuss this matter in an attempt to resolve
their concerns and in an effort to kick start this process once again. We look
forward to reaching a mutually agreeable solution.

Moving forward, we will continue to work with the SRA on the remapping of the
rail franchises. As part of this process, the Group is actively assisting in
the drawing up of the new Wessex and Wales and Borders franchises and
preparing the Great Northern part of the new Thameslink franchise.'


                                     - ENDS -

For further information contact:


Nicola Marsden, Press Office           020 7529 2000

National Express Group PLC