Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) by what date he expects to take a decision on the extension of the Southeastern rail franchise by a further two years as provided for under the Integrated Kent Franchise; 
(2) whether he plans to undertake a public consultation before deciding whether to extend the Southeastern rail franchise by a further two years. 
Mrs Villiers[holding answer 17 January 2011]: The Southeastern Continuation Review period under the Integrated Kent franchise agreement ended on 12 December 2010. The Department for Transport is currently reviewing Southeastern’s performance against the review criteria and the Secretary of State expects to notify the operator of the outcome in due course.
The Secretary of State will not be undertaking a public consultation. The terms of the franchise agreed by the previous Administration require the Secretary of 18 Jan 2011 : Column 665W
State to offer an additional two years to Southeastern, at the price agreed in 2005, if it passes the Continuation Review.
Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for the future of the Integrated Kent Franchise; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs Villiers: The franchise contract agreed with Southeastern by the previous administration includes a Continuation Review. The terms of the franchise provide that if the targets contained in the Continuation Review are met by Southeastern, the Department for Transport is obliged to offer the train operator a two year extension of its franchise to cover the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2014.
The Continuation Review period ended on 12 December 2010. Department for Transport officials are currently assessing Southeastern’s performance against the review criteria and an announcement on the outcome will be made in due course.