Fourth free paper due for London?

London could have four free dailies by the end of the year.

Network Rail has invited expressions of interest from publishers wishing to publish a free newspaper at the 10 London railway stations it manages.

The tender process stems from the same OFT decision which has led Transport for London to invite bids for a free newspaper to be distributed at its London Underground stations.

According to Network Rail, the winning bidder could be one newspaper distributed at both the London Underground and railway stations. Or the deal could end up being split between two different publications.

The newspaper will be distributed from Monday to Friday between 3pm and 9pm, using the distribution boxes installed by Associated Newspapers for its Metro free newspaper.

Network Rail commercial property director John Pike said: “Network Rail is keen to look for a partner to explore the possibilities of offering a free evening newspaper to the millions of people who use our stations every day.

“This is a great opportunity in a rapidly growing market. Potential bidders will have access to Britain’s biggest stations, which already play host to some of the country’s busiest retailers.

“For Network Rail, the benefits would be yet another offering for passengers and an extra stream of revenue to invest back into the railway.”

Network Rail is looking to complete the tender process by the end of June.

London already has two free daily newspapers: Metro and business title City AM.

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