Government to takeover Southeastern after possible fraud

Government are set to takeover Southeastern trains next month after an investigation found financial irregularities of £25 million.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the news this morning. A DfT statement says:

“An investigation conducted by the Department for Transport has identified evidence that since October 2014 LSER has not declared over £25 million of historic taxpayer funding which should have been returned.”

Further investigations are ongoing for earlier periods.

The franchise has been awarded numerous short term extensions over the past seven years by Government, and the allegations date back to 2014.

Southeastern has been operated by Go Ahead group and Keolis.

The same group also operates Thameslink.

From 17 October the Department for Transport’s Operator of Last Resort will take over.

The Department for Transport had previously blocked transferring Metro services to TfL while it aborted franchise awards as they made serious errors. It had previously made an announcement to transfer services to TfL.

Metro services have been almost a free for all dating back years. Minimal staffing is evident at various stations with most barriers left open throughout the day alongside ever more tired trains on Metro services.

Southeastern have just spent money on transferring “new” trains into corporate colours inside and out while stations were left unstaffed. Corporate colours that now don’t exist.

 

 

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John 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.

10 thoughts on “Government to takeover Southeastern after possible fraud

  • September 28, 2021 at 10:32 am
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    Hooray! Hallelujah! Thank God Almighty! It’s about bloody time!!! It’s said “good things happen in threes”, let us all pray that this be the case.

    Reply
  • September 28, 2021 at 11:11 am
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    Yes, failing Grayling (after being advised to do so) refused to make the transfer years ago for reasons of party dogma (and perhaps also due to a fear that it might actually do well under TFL).

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    • September 28, 2021 at 11:18 am
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      I wonder if that had progressed these issues would have come to light earlier?

      Reply
    • September 28, 2021 at 11:19 am
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      Grayling was such a disaster. A real shame Patrick McGoughlin was moved on.

      Reply
  • September 28, 2021 at 2:10 pm
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    Just heard from a TFL employee that all the rail franchisees plan to return ‘the keys’ as they cannot now make a profit. Of course, they may also be trying to force the Government to give them more money whilst threatening they will otherwise walk away?

    Reply
  • September 28, 2021 at 2:46 pm
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    Where did the money go, I wonder? Only the operator has changed, but it doesn’t mean that the service will improve.

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  • September 28, 2021 at 6:22 pm
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    Unfortunately I do not think there are any plans to improve services or put more staff on stations. Both ofwhich may have happened under TFL.

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  • September 28, 2021 at 7:56 pm
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    Has Sadiq said anything yet? Surely this a great opportunity for tfl but they don’t have any money these days so it would be a liability.

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    • September 28, 2021 at 7:58 pm
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      Don’t think so. He doesn’t seem bothered anymore. Wasn’t in his manifesto.

      As you point out TfL are being squeezed by the DfT so even if they did gain it, who funds?

      Reply

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