southeastern Rail Franchise

The Secretary of State, Grant Shapps MP, made a statement in the House of Commons yesterday about rail franchising. All franchise operators are being given an opportunity to temporarily transition onto Emergency Measures Agreements. These are described in the statement as follows:
"These agreements will suspend the normal financial mechanisms of franchise agreements, transferring all revenue and cost risk to the government. Operators will continue to run day-to-day services for a small, pre-determined management fee. Companies entering into these agreements will see a temporary suspension of their existing franchise agreement’s financial mechanisms for an initial period of six months, with options for further extension or earlier cancellation as agreed.
 
Today’s offer will provide greater flexibility to the train operators and the government and make sure the railway can continue to react quickly to changing circumstances and play its part in serving the national interest. It will ensure vital services continue to operate for key workers who are keeping the nation running and that we are able to reinstate a normal service quickly when the situation improves."
 
Southeastern is not mentioned, but as their franchise expires on 31 March 2020, the implication is that they will continue to operate services for the six months covered by these agreements.
 
The statement also reports that Operators have agreed that passengers who have purchased an advance ticket will be eligible for a refund without charge, and that season ticket holders will be eligible for a partial refund if they no longer wish to use it.
 
The full statement can be read through the link below:
 
Rail Franchises: Emergency-measures Agreements - Hansard
Best wishes
Mike Sparham
Convenor
Greenwich Line Users Group