First Group has responded to the Government's rail franchise announcement this morning
“The extension of First Great Western and First Capital Connect provides continuity and consistency for our passengers and enables us to continue to deliver considerable improvements. At both these franchises everyone has worked tirelessly to enhance services and we have a record of successfully delivering major projects.
“We have also taken significant steps to tackle overcrowding, although there is still much to do on these routes which are among the most congested in the country. Today’s announcement will also allow us to work closely with the DfT and our industry partners.”
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Thursday afternoon's weather for the west of the region
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Hundreds of university lecturers are striking in a row about their pensions. Demonstrations are taking place at campuses across the region.