First Great Western Franchise (Correction)

Transport written statement – made at on 21 April 2009.

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Photo of Geoff Hoon Geoff Hoon Secretary of State, Department for Transport

On 26 February 2008, Hansard, columns WS 73-74, my predecessor, Ruth Kelly, made a statement to the House about the performance of the First Great Western Franchise, in which she also announced a package of benefits designed to bring about real improvements for passengers. The package is worth £29 million and is fully funded by First Great Western.

One of the elements of the package of passenger benefits announced in the statement was that First Great Western would undertake "refurbishment of Thames Valley commuter trains to a higher standard than committed in the franchise agreement to commence this year (2008) and to be completed by 2011".

The stated completion date of 2011 was incorrect as it did not reflect the obligation in the agreement with First Great Western, which was to procure agreed expenditure on the refurbishment of the Thames Valley commuter trains by 31 March 2012, and I apologise for this.

I understand that First Great Western are confident that they will meet this obligation by the agreed date.