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Thursday 08 February, 2001

National Express

Re Agreement

National Express Group PLC
8 February 2001


                          NATIONAL EXPRESS GROUP PLC

                  SRA agreement on franchise extensions for

               Cardiff Railway, Wales & West and Great Northern


National Express Group PLC ('National Express') has agreed with the Strategic
Rail Authority ('SRA') to extend its operation of the Cardiff Railway and
Wales & West franchises together with the Great Northern part of its West
Anglia Great Northern franchise from 31 March 2001 to 30 April 2004. This will
ensure continuation of services under National Express' stewardship until the
SRA's remapping of new Wales and Borders, Wessex and Thameslink franchises is
completed.

Commenting on the agreement, Richard Brown, Commercial Director, National
Express, said: 'Through this agreement, we are able to provide continuity of
management and continued improvements in services for passengers. We are
working 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. We will continue to work with the SRA on assisting
them in delivering their vision for the new franchise map.'


  * E ND S -

Notes to Editors:


The Wales & West, Cardiff Railways and Great Northern franchises were acquired
by National Express with the Prism Rail acquisition in September 2000.


On 15 June 2000, Prism Rail announced an arrangement with the then sSRA to
restructure its existing franchise portfolio, under which Prism Rail would
surrender its loss-making Wales & West and Cardiff Railway franchises,
together with the Great Northern part of its WAGN franchise, with effect from
31 March 2001. In return, Prism Rail agreed to commit £20.5 million (at 15
June 2000 prices) by way of further investment in the c2c franchise over the
remainder of its franchise term to 2011. As part of its acquisition of Prism
Rail, National Express took on these commitments.


For further information:


Nicola Marsden

National Express Group PLC                    020 7529 2000