Wednesday 10 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.)


This franchise replaced the temporarily nationalised South Eastern which in turn had succeeded Connex South Eastern after that contract had been terminated prematurely.

Southeastern is responsible for High Speed (225km/h) domestic services from St Pancras International in London to several Kentish destinations.

The contract was first extended from 31 March 2012 to 31 March 2014 , later to June 2017 and then June 2018.

A further extension of 24 weeks (six reporting periods) was announced by the DfT on 6 December 2016.

The contract has now been extended to 2019, but the date was then changed again on 21 December 2018 from 1 April 2019 to 23 June, with a further postponement on 10 April 2019 to 10 November 2019, with an option to extend the agreement again to April 2020.

This option was exercised by the DfT on 7 August 2019, and the current South Eastern competition was cancelled.

On 30 March 2020 the DfT announced a Direct Award from 1 April 2020. It will run until 16 October 2021 at least, with the option to extend at the DfTs discretion until 31 March 2022. The first six months (minimum) will be a management contract, with the removal of commercial risk and a fee to Govia.

**On 28 September 2021 the DfT announced that the contract would be terminated with effect from 17 October, after more than 25 million in public funds had not been returned to the government by Southeastern. The contract is being transferred to the Operator of Last Resort.**

start date
1 April 2006
end date
16 October 2021

owned by
Govia Ltd

legal title
London and South Eastern Railway Ltd

service area
Commuter and outer suburban services between London (Blackfriars/Cannon Street/Charing Cross/London Bridge/St Pancras International/Victorial), Dover, Folkestone, Maidstone/Canterbury/Ashford and branches. Including High Speed services (225km/h) from St Pancras to Ebbsfleet, Ashford, Faversham, Ramsgate, Dover (also Maidstone West from May 2011).

South Eastern Trains

to be replaced by
South Eastern


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