Holland's Abellio wins Greater Anglia franchise

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An arm of Holland's state-run rail operator has fought off competition from the UK's Go-Ahead Group and Stagecoach to operate the Greater Anglia franchise from February 2012 until July 2014.

In the first rail franchise to be awarded by the Coalition Government, the Department for Transport announced it had chosen Abellio Greater Anglia, a unit of Nederlandse Spoorwegen, to run a franchise across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

The contract adds to Abellio's existing UK contract, running trains in the North of England in partnership with the outsourcer Serco.

Under the terms of the franchise, which is presently being operated by National Express, Abellio has committed to make it easier for passengers to buy tickets, to provide an additional 600 car-parking spaces and to expand cycle storage.

The company will also start publishing a breakdown of punctuality figures by route, giving passengers more transparency over the performance of the lines they use.