New contract signed for Southeastern rail services


New contracts have been signed between the government and rail operators Southeastern.

The new agreement with Govia – which owns Southeastern- aims to ensure jobs are protected in the unprecedented circumstances brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, providing those who cannot work from home with the connections they need to get to where they need to and keep the country running.

In the longer-term, there will be improvements including increased capacity at peak times, more front-line staff and more fares trials for passengers. The direct awards will allow services to be stepped up when the rail network returns to normal following disruption from COVID-19.

Southeastern promises space for thousands of extra passengers during the morning and evening peak times, while more front-line staff will be recruited to help passengers with their journeys.

The Direct Award Contract is with Govia -a subsidiary of the Go Ahead Group (65%) and Keolis (35%)- and runs from 1 April 2020 until 16 October 2021, with the option to extend at the DfT’s discretion until 31 March 2022.

David Statham, Southeastern Managing Director, said:  “We continue to work with our industry partners to ensure that services are available to get people working in healthcare, food and other vital public services where they need to be.  When customers are able to begin travelling as normal, we look forward to reconnecting our communities and further improving capacity, performance and customer satisfaction”.

The agreements run concurrently with the emergency measures agreements announced earlier this week which will see the government temporarily take on the revenue and cost risk associated with individual franchises.


  1. As very quietly announced a week ago this is actually pretty much re-nationslisation of the railways, if not immediately, then in 6 months or so, when the full implications of the recent report on the railways is taken on board. it’s just that something had to be done about the South Eastern franchise immediately. Read below along with other sources…

  2. A sensible decision and I do hope additional high speed rolling stock can now be acquired to alleviate the crowding on the HS line from St.Pancras to Ashford, Canterbury West and the Thanet stations. 6 carriage trains cannot carry enough passengers to meet the demand in normal times.

  3. Nationalising the railways! Refunding the NHS!
    Increasing Universal Credit!

    Wasn’t the Labour Party shredded in the newspapers for proposing all these policies in the General Election?
    Yet , along comes a virus and British society is found to be so lacking in resources and the ability to cope, even a Tory government , elected to introduce some of the most Right-wing policies in modern times, ends up rushing to enact Labour policies because they know they are the only sensible approach.
    In the present depressing circumstances, I would laugh if I wasn’t crying!

    • Keefogs, the spending has been in response to an emergency.
      Labour wanted to spend the money regardless, in that case there wouldn’t have been anything left to deal with an emergency.

      • Yet Labour election plans did not involve anything like the kind of cash now being spent.
        As for not having “anything left to deal with an emergency” isn’t that kind of thinking a bit “pre 2008”? I mean, the Banks were totally bailed out by the last Labour government and there was a wailing noise about the country being “bankrupted”.
        Yet, here we are , only 12 years later and yet another huge expense.”Whatever it takes ” apparently.
        In the meantime, the final cheques were issued by then-Chancellor, George Osborne, to pay off the debts incurred by the First and Second World Wars. Those nominal debts had hung on all that time though , despite that, we created the National Health Service, the modern Welfare State, and built hundreds of thousands of new Council houses.

        So what damage, exactly, has to be done to our economy and way-of-life by these debts? Unless they are used to impose austerity on us , so that our health service becomes so degraded we cannot adequately respond to a pandemic?
        The vast cost of two world wars didn’t stop us modernising.
        And, anyway. to whom do we actually owe all these debts when, after all, we are only spending our own money? Can you name anybody to whom we owe this sum? Their names and addresses? Perhaps the name of their Bank or business?
        And, in the end, how powerful are these people? Can they threaten us, the way the tiny economy of Greece was forced to surrender to the European Bank?

        The UK has the sixth largest economy in the world.(We used to be the fifth but Brexit put paid to that so that France overtook without much effort) So , unless Donald Trump or China takes umbrage at something that Boris Johnson says in another unguarded gaffe, we won’t be threatened by anybody’s bailiffs seeking to take our TVs away.
        I think that the Tories now realise this and have , secretly, shaken off the dull careful, coin-counting of Philip Hammond. Of course, they will still tell us how careful with money they are. But they reserve that for criticising Labour Party plans to make the country fairer for everybody. They know that, if they want to butter-up the voters, (as with HS2) the cash will always be there and no-one will notice the expanding national debt. And no-one will quite be able to describe what damage, if any , is actually incurred by owing a bit more cash to somebody or other, for whatever reason, when things will move on , as ever, and the “debt” just won’t be mentioned again.

  4. This is third extension and I would remind everyone that this the ‘B Team’ regarding Govia; the ‘A team’ being Southern.Yes, quite.
    Part owned by the SNCF (yes, the French national railways for all those Francophile, Brexit loving voters) CDPQ , who own what’s left of Bombardier and Go- ahead group, which is like Stagecoach, with all the niceness taken out.

Comments are closed.