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Wednesday 06 November, 2002

Strategic Rail Auth

Franchise policy statement

Strategic Rail Authority
06 November 2002

                               FRANCHISE POLICY STATEMENT

                  'Accountable and viable operators who are passionate

                        about delivering for their customers'

Getting train operating companies to focus on meeting passenger needs is at the
centre of the Franchise Policy Statement published today by the Strategic Rail
Authority (SRA).

The policy sets out the shape of key performance indicators to be included in
future contracts specifying the quality of services to be delivered by train
operating companies to their customers.  These indicators may include train
cleanliness, station cleanliness, passenger information systems, ticketing
systems and personal passenger security.

The new system will be different because it is passenger focused.  Under it the
SRA will be much clearer about what it expects from each train operating
company.  In return for providing a consistent, high quality service, train
operators can expect greater certainty of rewards and incentives.

Richard Bowker, Chairman of the SRA says:

'This policy provides greater certainty for passengers and for the companies
that serve them.  Passengers will know that there are clear and acceptable
performance measures, while operators will know that their innovation and
creativity will be encouraged and rewarded within a stable operating

Notes to Editors:

1.      The Franchise Policy Statement applies to franchises falling due from 
        April 2004.

2.      A listing showing the current status of all of the franchises can be 
        viewed on our website under 'News'.

3.      The SRA has today confirmed that it will be pursuing its objective of 
        having a single franchised operator at major London stations following a 
        positive response to its consultation.

4.      The SRA has today announced the preferred bidders for the concluding 
        stage of TransPennine Express franchise; a new approach for the South 
        West Trains franchise; and unveiled plans for the creation of a new 
        Greater Western franchise.

5.      An information sheet summarising the key points of the Franchising 
        Policy Statement is attached.  Media copies of the document are 
        available from the SRA Press Office or from the SRA website,

                   SRA Press Office 020 7654 6339 /6387 /6234 /6294

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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