Government Strips National Express Of East Anglia Franchise

PUBLISHED: 10:09 26 November 2009 | UPDATED: 11:08 04 May 2010

NATIONAL Express will be stripped of its profitable East Anglia franchise three years early, it was announced this morning. Transport minister Lord Adonis, told bosses at NXEA yesterday that despite hitting performance targets, the rail operator would not

NATIONAL Express will be stripped of its profitable East Anglia franchise three years early, it was announced this morning.

Transport minister Lord Adonis, told bosses at NXEA yesterday that despite hitting performance targets, the rail operator would not be allowed to extend its franchise beyond March 2011, when it is due up for renewal.

NXEA operates many of the region's commuter routes into London including several from Ely and Cambridge, but will be forced to hand over the profitable franchise three years early, reputedly as a consequence of forfeiting the East Coast Main Line earlier this year.

A new franchise operator for the service will be sought immediately to take over from the troubled firm in April 2011.

A spokesman for NXEA said: "Whilst this decision was expected given the event of the default of the National Express East Coast franchise, the company is disappointed given the excellent improvement in performance delivered by the Group over the past 5 1/2 years of

operating the franchise."

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