Murky Depths

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Southeastern franchise extended yet again today

Woolwich Arsenal station

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.

Barriers open on most stations most of the time due to staffing issues.

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.

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Jo

    And to think some said the DfT didn’t devolve to TfL as they wanted to show what they could do!!

    Even by the poor standard of trains on my journeys from Plumstead they seem to be in worse condition recently.

    It makes sense not to spend any money if the contract is only extended every few months so no real dosh is spent on fixes. The same with staffing – if one leaves why go through all the hassle of hiring more when no certainty of how long it’ll be operated?

    No business in the world will invest anything beyond the very bare minimum without certainty – and not just a few months ahead. What will happen is staff will continue to not be replaced in some areas where non-essential and trains and stations just get short-term patches? Anything that they aren’t already obliged to do in the contract.

    It’ll be six years of that if/when anything ever changes.

  2. Ian

    I hate this train operator.

    I read the press release and no date is given for Delay Repay 15 except for some vague mention of the Autumn.

    How much money have Southeastern pocketed from Network Rail and not handed back to delayed customers?

    Only 22 minutes late yesterday.

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