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National Express (NEX)

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Monday 22 December, 2003

National Express

Greater Anglia Franchise

National Express Group PLC
22 December 2003

press release





For immediate release on 22 December 2003



                           National Express Group PLC

                            Greater Anglia Franchise



National Express Group PLC ('the Group'), the leading international passenger
transport company, welcomes the decision of the Strategic Rail Authority ('SRA')
to select the Group as preferred bidder for the Greater Anglia franchise. The
franchise which combines the existing Anglia and Great Eastern franchises, and
the West Anglia (Liverpool Street) services from the Wagn franchise (including
Stansted Express) will commence in April 2004.  It will run for seven years with
an automatic extension of three years, subject to the achievement  of
performance and service quality targets set by the SRA.



Commenting on the SRA's announcement Phil White, Chief Executive, National
Express Group said:



'We are delighted at today's decision which will bring benefits for both
passengers and investors.  We have submitted a strong and robust bid which
contains a range of exciting ideas, many of which were suggested by key
stakeholders during our consultation meetings.  Importantly, we believe that
there will be timetable efficiencies that can translate into real benefits for
passengers from a single operator out of Liverpool Street station, meeting the
SRA's objective of one operator, one terminus.



'Our top priority will be to deliver punctuality and reliability improvements as
well as raise the general standards of services across the east of England.  We
welcome the opportunity to play a part in the regeneration of East London
through improved public transport and particularly playing a role in transport
links for the Olympic bid 2012.



'We look forward to working with the SRA to reach agreement on the terms of the
franchise, the first franchise under the SRA's new template. We have three
months to prepare for the launch of the franchise in April 2004 during which
time we look forward to working closely with the SRA, our suppliers, key
stakeholders and staff on the integration process.'



 - ENDS -



For further information, please contact:


Adam Walker, Finance Director (analysts)
National Express Group PLC                              020 7529 2000

Nicola Marsden/Fiona Noblet (media)
National Express Group PLC                              020 7529 2000




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