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.