This programme is a major step in delivering tangible improvements to services, providing long-term certainty to the market and supporting our huge programme of rail investment.
Above all, in future franchise competitions we are placing passengers in the driving seat by ensuring that their views and satisfaction levels are taken into account when deciding which companies run our railway services.
Franchising has been a force for good in the story of Britain's railways, transforming an industry that was in decline into one that today carries record numbers of passengers.
More top news
Cuts and rising cost of adult social care will leave councils underfunded, warns Local Government Association.
The self-styled 'Gypsy King' now holds the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts, after winning on points.
Very windy with gales