§ Mr. Waterson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he expects a decision to be announced in respect of the rail franchise for the south-east of England presently held by Connex. 
§ Mr. Hill
Connex currently operate two franchises in the south of England—South Central (which serves Eastbourne) and South Eastern. The Franchising Director is currently evaluating two proposals—from Connex and GoVia—for a replacement South Central franchise. The preferred bidder will be announced when that evaluation process is complete. No date has been set for when that will be as this will depend on the progress of negotiations. The Franchising Director will take opportunities as they arise to replace the longer-term franchises, of which Connex South Eastern is one.