Chiltern Railways or Great Western rail could be in line to take on the new East West line running through Oxford to Bedford, after the transport body for the region called on government to dispense with new franchise arrangements.
England's Economic Heartland (EEH) - the sub-national transport body for the crucial Cambridge to Oxford corridor - has called for the Government to appoint an existing operator to take on the services.
At the first meeting of EEH's Strategic Transport Forum in December, the group resolved to invite Chiltern Railways and Great Western to its January 25 meeting in order to hear their views on the process.
EEH said in a statement that there was a 'strong case' for services on East West Rail's 'western section' to initially be provided by an existing operator, given the current difficulties in the rail sector - including the industry undergoing a fundamental review, the cancellation of a number of franchising processes, and travel demand often being initially underestimated.
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