Design, Technology, Innovation and Being a Stick!

South Eastern Franchise Agreement


04.12.21 Posted in Uncategorized by

The Department of Transport said: “We have made the decision to cancel the franchise competition in the Southeast. Chris Grayling`s replacement at least means that the old feud between Grayling and Khan is over. While Boris Johnson, as Mayor of London, has advocated a greater transfer of rail links in London to mayoral/TFL control, south Eastern is at the top of the Tge list of the network, given the state of trains, stations, etc. The south-east link transfer could extend the existing New Cross line to the bexleyheath loop, which would move some trains away from the road to Charing Cross via London Bridge, the way to free up capacity for more longer-distance trains from Kent. Passengers in the south-east would also benefit from lower fares, with fares aligned with the frozen TFL fares followed by Mayor Khan. In the longer term, we have the dissolution of the TSGN concession with the completion of Thameslink, which means that london routes could be transferred to both the south and south-east. TFL and maybe allow reconfigured services to create a 3rd equivalent subway rail south of the river! Hardly unexpected given the turbulence in which the franchise process has descended. Perhaps the time has come to finally bury the mantra of successive transport ministers that franchising has added value to taxpayers` money. Both the public treasury and the bidding companies spent huge amounts of money that would have been much better spent to invest in the sector.

Prior to the mandate of the last Minister of Transport, rail policy seemed to benefit from a relative phase of consensus. The last three years have been a litany of progressive cuts and failures. Although the DfT is clearly placed under new ministerial oversight in the face of widespread political distractions, I think it is unlikely that positive progress will be made from the current mess. While much was expected of Williams magazine, little has emerged so far, suggesting that the basic problems with the structure of the industry are only addressed by the same with some adjustment of the decorative cover chair. There is now a vacuum in which an urgent strategy is needed. As trains continue to invest urgently to implement the improvements needed to meet the challenges of increasing demand, they will continue to be thrown into the future. The successful bidders for the next franchise were Govia, a joint venture of Abellio, East Japan Railway and Mitsui-Co, as well as a joint venture between Stagecoach and Alstom. Trenitalia had withdrawn to focus on the West Coast Partnership long distance contract bid. Unions have made bitter criticisms.



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