The current franchise operator for Southeastern trains, Govia has had its agreement extended, on a temporary basis.
Govia took over the franchise in 2006, and it was due to expire in March 2014. Following the DfT’s review after the cancellation of the InterCity West Coast franchise process, extensions were granted to the franchises due for renewal with Southeastern’s franchise extended until June 2018. It was later extended until December 2018.
Then it was given a short term extension to 23 June 2019, but there was uncertainty about what would happen after that expired.
This has now been extended again, to 10th November 2019, with an option to extend the agreement further to 1st April 2020.
The Department for Transport is still working on a decision on the competition for the next franchise.
The delay also gives TfL more time to prepare its own bid to take over the franchise when it is eventually offered to tender.