The Department for Transport have this morning announced yet another extension to Southeastern’s franchise operated by Govia. They are in charge until November 2019 with an option to April 2020.
These are the latest short term extensions since 2014 which have hit planning and strategy for the franchise. It’s in effect another year of stagnation.
The extension is wrapped up in a press release with welcome news that Delay Repay is being reduced to 15 minutes in line with franchises such as Thameslink, Greater Anglia and Great Western Rail.
The hope is that this Delay Repay announcement will detract from a year’s delay being made with progress on improving rail services and staffing levels.
Other improvements are pretty minor including extensions to the smart ticket service called “The Key” and a best fare finder on their website.
The DfT had registered an organisation to takeover if no agreement was made with GoVia and the deadline ten days away. The franchise process has ground to a halt with one party, Stagecoach, excluded and later taking the Government to court.