The Department for Transport has decided to abandon the franchising system.
The future franchise on this page had been planned but is not now expected to be awarded.
Replacement contracts of a new type may be announced later on.
From 20 September 2020 until some time in 2022 Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements are in force, which guarantee an income to operators and remove commercial risk.
The next franchise to follow the present Great Western Railway contract. Invitation to tender had been due February 2019, with the award in December 2019. (An extension of 13 reporting periods from April 2019 to April 2020 was assumed by the DfT.)
In the event, the DfT issued a new Direct Award to FirstGroup, to run from 1 April 2020 until at least April 2022. The first six months of this extended franchise, to September 2020, is a management contract.
1 April 2022?
Intercity, outer suburban and regional services. London Paddington–Bristol–Weston-super-Mare/Westbury–Exeter–Paignton/Plymouth–Penzance/Newquay, Cardiff–Swansea–Carmarthen, Swindon–Cheltenham Spa/Worcester–Great Malvern, Bristol–Weymouth/Portsmouth/Brighton, Reading–Basingstoke–Gatwick Airport; branch lines to St Ives, Falmouth Docks, Newquay, Looe, Gunnislake, Barnstaple, Exmouth, Severn Beach, Bicester Town, Henley, Marlow, Windsor & Eton Central, Greenford
Great Western Railway