HC Deb 31 October 1995 vol 265 c135W
Mr. Allen

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of passenger rail services he expects to be sold off by 1 April 1996. [39793]

Mr. Watts

We expect that franchises for a significant proportion of passenger rail services will have been awarded by 1 April 1996. The sales process for the first three franchises—Great Western, South West Trains and LTS Rail—is now in its final stages. The franchising director aims to select franchisees for these franchises by the end of the year, with private sector operation commencing in the first few months of 1996. The sales process has started for a further four franchises: InterCity East Coast, Midland Main Line, Network SouthCentral and Gatwick Express. These seven franchises represent 40 per cent. of passenger services by revenue. Preparation of sales documentation is under way for the next stages of the programme.