National Express granted extension for East Anglia

The Department of Transport yesterday granted National Express a 28- week extension on its East Anglia rail franchise.

East Anglia services run between London’s Liverpool Street Station and Eastern England destinations, including Peterborough and Norwich.

It was announced by the Labour government in late 2009 that National Express would have its seven year franchise agreement terminated three years early on 31 March 2011.

This was seen as a punishment after the company defaulted on the £1.4bn East Coast Main Line franchise in 2009.

National Express chief executive Dean Finch said: “We are pleased to have been given this initial extension and to be able to continue to serve our customers on the East Anglia franchise.”

City analysts said the move could represent a thawing of relations with the government. The shares ticked up a penny to close at 246.9p last night.

Speaking to City A.M., general secretary of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMT) Bob Crow called the extension agreement “outrageous”.