Government to takeover Southeastern if no extension agreement reached

The Government could step in and install a DfT-owned operator to run the Southeastern franchise from 23rd June if no agreement is made by the Conservative government to once again extend the current franchise with GoVia for another year.

Thanks for the heads up on this via Twitter from Jamie Narborough and you can read more on Railnews here. Over the past week it became clear the DfT had registered a new company to possibly operate services.

The Government taking over has happened before when Connex were forced to stop services in 2003 after financial mismanagement. That lasted until 2006 when  current operators GoVia took control and fare rises of RPI+3% were introduced each year – which was stipulated by the Labour government at the time.

That 2006 award did not include a commitment to expand the Metro fleet or refurbishment trains – and with continual short term extensions since then the trains have barely had any substantial work carried out internally except for those required by law. Later this year disability laws could see a net reduction in carriages as current trains cannot operate on branch lines.

The government stepping in is likely to be an interim measure. More years of stagnation with lack of planning and investment is possible.  Even if a short-term extension is agreed no sizable investment is likely to occur in such a short timeframe.



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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

3 thoughts on “Government to takeover Southeastern if no extension agreement reached

  • Why don’t they simply give the Metro service to TfL, who are very keen to take it over?

    It’s a no brainer, especially when trying finding a new bidder has already taken far longer than Brexit.

    With any luck that will be the first action of the new Secretary of State for Transport in a few weeks’ time.

  • oh, what a surprise… and I find it weird (yet, I’m not looking strange at this) that you’ve refused to reply to a few recent reactions by me on your blog. I think you’re a council worker and scamming the viewers ‘pretending to be a family man that has just interest in local things’. Please donate

    • Is this to me? What comment are you talking about? You can believe what you want about me to be honest. Scamming? Ok then… I know enough readers who will vouch for me but not sure what it matters to you anyway and relevance on southeastern services.


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