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Southeastern Decision Equals Vote Of No Confidence In Franchising

7 August 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has described the decision to scrap the competition to find a new operator for the Southeastern rail franchise as "a vote of no confidence" in the system.

The Department for Transport (DfT) announced the move, saying that continuing with the bidding process was unlikely to benefit passengers.

The current incumbent, Southeastern (run by Govia), has been given a five-month extension to run the route - between London, Kent and parts of East Sussex - until April 2020.

Manuel Cortes said: “This amounts to a vote of no confidence in the whole franchising process and an admission by the Government that competition on our railways simply does not work.

“Today it is clear that the whole idea of franchising has effectively been scrapped because the Government are now simply awarding contracts directly to privateers.

“The DfT has said the Southeastern decision will be used to ‘develop a solution’. I sincerely hope that Keith Williams, who is carrying out a rail review, is taking note – the only solution which will fix the franchising madness is public ownership.”

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