The Department for Transport has announced that it will take over running Southeastern services this October, as they say there has been a serious breach of the franchise agreement.
The Operator of Last Resort will take over operations on the 17th October 2021 due to financial matters, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.
An investigation by the DfT found evidence that parent company, LSER, had not declared £25m of historic taxpayer funding that should have been returned.
Following this investigation, the Government is now considering further options of enforcement, including statutory financial penalties.
The DfT says that there will be no changes to fares, tickets or services when the OLR takes over next month.
No interruption for passengers or staff will be felt by the OLR take over, with the organisation being run by railway managers who already oversee Northern and London North Eastern Railway.
The Government will complete the rollout of the Class 707 rollout and will invest in other improvements on the existing fleet of trains.
More details on the OLR will be announced soon.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said: “There is clear, compelling and serious evidence that LSER have breached the trust that is absolutely fundamental to the success of our railways. When trust is broken, we will act decisively.
“The decision to take control of services makes unequivocally clear that we will not accept anything less from the private sector than a total commitment to their passengers and absolute transparency with taxpayer support.
“Under the new operator, we will prioritise the punctual, reliable services passengers deserve, rebuild trust in this network, and the delivery of the reforms set out in our Plan for Rail – to build a modern railway that meets the needs of a nation.”
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