Government takes control of Southeastern train services after franchise row

Government takes control of Southeastern train services after franchise row

10/18/2021 4:28:00 AM

Government takes control of Southeastern train services after franchise row

Govia stripped of franchise after it failed to declare more than £25m of taxpayer funding

“Whoever runs Southeastern, passengers will want a reliable service which delivers on their key priorities: a punctual, reliable, clean train, with enough room to sit and stand, and value for money fares,” Anthony Smith, chief executive of passenger watchdog Transport Focus, said.

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The OLR scheme has previously been used to take over two other franchises, with the London North Eastern Railway launching in 2018 and Northern Trains launching in March 2020.Cat Hobbs, director of the public ownership campaign group We Own It, said that the takeover of Southeastern showed that it was “time to bring the whole rail network into public hands”.

“Again and again, privatisation is failing our railway and franchises are being brought into public ownership one by one,” Ms Hobbs said.“Profit-driven companies won't put passengers or the public first - especially as the railway is a natural monopoly where we don't have a choice between companies.” headtopics.com

Earlier this year, transport secretaryGrant Shappssaid that an investigation by DfT had found that Govia failed to declare more than £25m of historic taxpayer funding that should have been returned.Mr Shapps warned that the government would not accept “anything less” than “absolute transparency with taxpayer support” for rail franchises.

Read more: The Independent »

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Government starts takeover of Southeastern trains after £25,000,000 breachThe Department for Transport will now run the trains under the Operator of Last Resort. That’s just what happens, it’s the nature of government

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