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GO-AHEAD GROUP PLC (GOG)

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Go-Ahead Group plc : Five star rating and Gold award for Southeastern

06/01/2012 | 11:20am US/Eastern
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01 June 2012

Go-Ahead's Southeastern rail franchise has been awarded an impressive 5 stars in the British Quality Foundation Recognised for Excellence (R4E) programme, confirming the company is operating to the highest possible standard.

The rating follows the news that Southeastern has been accredited with Investors in People 'Gold' standard, placing the company amongst the top three per cent of organisations in the UK to have achieved this status. 'Investors in People' is the UK's leading people management standard and recognises continued improvement in business performance and the development of staff.

Charles Horton, Managing Director of Southeastern said: "I am immensely proud that Southeastern has achieved the highest rating possible from the British Quality Foundation. It's a great accolade and follows closely on the recognition we've achieved from gaining Investors in People 'Gold' accreditation. This puts us in a select group of organisations who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence and been able to show how this is translated into the way their businesses are run."

Southeastern adopted the internationally recognised European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model and R4E process as a framework to drive forward improvements in management, operation and service delivery. The Excellence Model was rolled out throughout the entire company via key staff who were trained in the EFQM framework. 

Improvements were this year recognised at a passenger level when Southeastern achieved its highest ever customer satisfaction score in the National Passenger Survey. Conducted by the Government's official passenger watchdog Passenger Focus, 83% of passengers said in the survey that they were satisfied with Southeastern's services which is the highest ever score achieved by any operator on the South East network. The train operator is also achieving the best ever punctuality and service performance (91.8% PPM) for the South East since public performance records commenced.

Southeastern runs over 2,000 daily train services into London from Kent and East Sussex, carrying around 170 million passengers a year. It serves 179 stations and employs around 3,800 people.

Charles Horton concluded: "Of course there's no room for complacency and always plenty of room for improvement and we will continue to work hard to build upon our achievements."

Go-Ahead's other two rail franchises Southern and London Midland have both been accredited with Investors in People status and follow the EFQM model.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

The Go-Ahead Group
Holly Birch, Group Investor Relations Manager
Catherine Robertson, Group Investor Relations Manager
07837 612 661
020 7821 3929
NOTES TO EDITORS GO-AHEAD

Go-Ahead is a leading UK public transport operator, providing high quality services in the bus and rail sectors. Employing around 22,000 people across the country, over one billion passenger journeys are undertaken on our services each year. We are committed to operating our companies in a safe, socially and environmentally responsible way and are proud to have been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard after taking action on climate change. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include the Department for Transport, Transport for London (TfL) and local authorities.

BUS

Go-Ahead is one of the UK's largest bus operators. With a fleet of around 3,900 buses, we carry, on average, around 1.7 million passengers every day. Our operations are focused on high density commuter markets. We have a strong presence in London, with around 20% market share, where we provide regulated services for TfL. We operate deregulated services in Oxford, East Anglia, the South East, Southern and North East England. We also have a yellow school bus joint venture in North America.

RAIL

Our rail division operates the Southern (including Gatwick Express), Southeastern and London Midland franchises through our 65% owned subsidiary Govia. It is the busiest rail operation in the UK, responsible for nearly 30% of all UK passenger rail journeys. In December 2009, Southeastern began operating the UK's first high speed domestic rail service between Kent and London, significantly reducing journey times.

Legal disclaimer

Certain statements included in this press release contain forward-looking information concerning the Group's strategy, operations, financial performance or condition, outlook, growth opportunities or circumstances in the sectors or markets in which the Group operates. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve uncertainty because they depend of future circumstances, and relate to events, not all of which are within the Company's control or can be produced by the Company. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Actual results could differ materially from those set out in the forward-looking statements. Nothing in this press release should be construed as a profit forecast and no part of these results constitutes, or shall be taken to constitute, an invitation or inducement to invest in The Go-Ahead Group plc or any other entity, and must not be relied upon in any way in connection with any investment decision. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

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