Monday 8 August 2022

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The Department for Transport has decided to abandon the franchising system in England.

The franchise on this page ceased to exist on normal commercial terms on 23 March 2020, and was replaced by an Emergency Measures Agreement, which guaranteed an income to operators and removed commercial risk.

From 20 September 2020 until some time in 2022 Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (ERMAs) replaced the original EMAs, slightly reducing the fixed fees paid to operators but otherwise continuing the protection from commercial risk.

Replacement contracts of a new type may be announced later on.

(In the case of Scottish franchises, the Scottish Government announced on 18 September an extension of its EMAs from 20 September 2020 to January 2021, pending further discussions.)


By 2003 the transfer of responsibility from the SRA to Merseyside PTE was being arranged, and a new 25-year concession was let by the PTE in 2003, which was won by a consortium of Serco and NedRail (now Abellio).

start date
20 July 2003
end date
20 July 2028

owned by
Abellio Transport Holding BV-Serco Group plc

legal title
Merseyrail Electrics 2002 Ltd

service area
Metro and local services in greater Merseyside

Merseyrail Electrics/Arriva Trains Merseyside


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