§ Mr. Redwood
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many train franchises were(a) renewed and (b) let in the last year; and what the average duration of those new franchises is. 
§ Mr. Spellar
The following franchises were renewed or re-let in 2002. The table shows the type of extension/ renewal/re-letting and the duration.
Train operator Re-letting etc. (date) Duration Chiltern railways 18 February 2002 Until 2012, 2017 or 2022 depending upon the achievement of contractual terms GNER 16 January 2002 Extension of two years of April 2005 South West Trains 6 November 2002 Extension of one year to February 2004 in order that negotiations about extension of the franchise for a further three years may continue