Southeastern begins discussions for franchise extension

Credit: Southeastern

The Department for Transport has announced that it has started discussions with Southeastern about an extension of the current franchise.

This will for more time to review and award a new operator for the next South Eastern franchise.

The train operator is discussing with the DfT for an initial extension of five periods from 23 June 2019 to 10 November 2019, with an option for up to a further 5 periods if required, which would take the current operator to 1st April 2020.

This extension will allow the DfT more time to review and award a winner for the next South Eastern franchise.

With the current franchise being extended, Southeastern will be continuing with their investment and improvement plans.

What did the officials say?

David Statham, Southeastern’s Managing Director, said:

“We’re proud to have delivered significant investment and improvements in the railway for customers over the life of our franchise. We introduced the incredibly successful Highspeed service – Britain’s first – which slashed journey times between London and Kent, we’ve introduced more services and we’re pleased to have improved customer satisfaction and punctuality.

“We commenced a new Direct Award contract in 2014 and we haven’t stopped working hard to deliver even more for customers, including £70m in train and station refurbishments, smartcard tickets, and 5,000 extra seats.

“Our focus remains squarely on our customers, delivering more improvements and providing the best possible service.”

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Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.
  • As Trenitalia have pulled out of the bid to take over the Southeastern franchise. Other competitors such as Abellio, MTR, First Group, Arriva, Alstom & Serco could possibly win the bid to take over Govia and to take charge of the new Southeastern franchise along with maintaining the Highspeed “HS1” domestic rail service.

    And could lose the inner suburban and metro services to TfL that could soon operate their new London Overground expansion in Southeast London and South London that Southeastern does still operates metro services such as Hayes, Dartford, Gravesend, Rochester and the Grove Park-Bromley North shuttle service to be handed over to TfL. And GTR Thameslink that took over the Rainham, Orpington and Sevenoaks services with possible expansions to other destinations in Kent such as Maidstone, Canterbury and Ashford International.

    And aswell with TfL also to take over Southern’s South London suburban services that serves other areas in South London including West Croydon and East Croydon.

    Was National Express interested in taking over the Southeastern Rail franchise before they went to the Netherlands and Germany to operate their new franchise. Will National Express return to the UK and to take charge of the Southeastern franchise

  • Or why not allow Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn take over the Southeastern Kent rail franchise and he could create his own rail enterprise as Labour wants to bring back the UK railway franchising on how it was before foreign rail companies took charge of the railway franchising business. I’m sure that he wouldn’t mind having his own open access rail operator in the future. As he loves to talk about taking back British Rail and renationalising the railway.