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Announcement on Northern Franchise

Thursday 18 December 2003

We are delighted that the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) has today invited FirstGroup to move forward to the final stage of the bidding for the Northern franchise with Serco/Ned Railways.

The new franchise will combine the operations of Arriva Trains Northern and First North Western which have not already been transferred to Trans Pennine or Wales and the Borders. We will now be working closely with the SRA to submit our final bid early in the New Year.

Commenting, Moir Lockhead, FirstGroup Chief Executive said: "We will be working hard to provide a bid which gives improved services for passengers across the region and excellent value for money for the taxpayer.'

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