National Express given rail franchise reprieve

City A.M. Reporter
The new coalition government has given National Express a reprieve on the East Anglia rail franchise by granting an initial extension, the company said.

National Express, which also runs the C2C franchise, said the Department for Transport had agreed an initial 28-week extension beyond the original expiry date of 31 March 2011.

The previous Labour government had denied National Express an extension on the franchise until 2014 as a consequence of defaulting on the East Coast rail service in 2009.

The new government, in power since May, had said in June however that it was postponing bids for rail franchises while it conducted a review of franchising policy.

"We continue to explore opportunities to deliver our industry-leading rail performance across both our franchises beyond 2011," chief executive Dean Finch said.