THE contest to secure the right to run Great Western train services through Oxfordshire is to be scrapped, the Department for Transport has confirmed this morning.

Current operator First Great Western's franchise will be extended until October under a clause in its contract with the DfT and the firm will be invited to hold talks on a two-year extension, running until late 2015.

An announcement on longer-term arrangements for the franchise will be made by transport ministers in the spring.

More on this story shortly.