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South-Eastern Rail Franchise

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:03 pm on 23rd April 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 5:03 pm, 23rd April 2019

My right hon. Friend asks about how the bid may finally be judged. I cannot comment on the work in progress, but I can say that an invitation to tender was published in November 2017. It was the result of a significant consultation, to which there were 10,000 or so responses. I am as anxious as my right hon. Friend to get the benefits of that invitation to tender out to the constituents whom he serves so well, and as fast as possible, but I cannot give an answer today on who will win the franchise. That work is carried out separately by officials, away from Ministers, and the information is anonymised because it is so important and market sensitive, but his point will have been heard by all those in the industry.