1. West Country (E)

Rail Franchise Plans Scrapped

The Department for Transport has scrapped plans for a bidding competition for the franchise to run Great Western rail services. The current operator, First Great Western, has had its contract extended until October

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Rail franchise plans scrapped

A First Great Western train about to leave London Paddington for the west country Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

The Department for Transport has scrapped plans for a bidding competition for the franchise to run Great Western rail services.

It was put on hold last October after the fiasco over the West Coast Main Line franchise.

Current operator First Great Western has had its contract extended until October and negotiations will start on a new two-year contract with the company, while plans for the longer term will be set out in the spring.

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