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.”