THE Department for Transport has extended the Emergency Measures Agreement on Great Western Railway from 20 September to at least 26 June next year.
The EMAs protect franchises from the financial impact of the pandemic, because all costs and revenues are handled directly by the DfT, with a management fee paid to the franchise holder.
GWR’s owner FirstGroup also said that the EMA could be extended again. If not, the terms of the franchise until its expiry in March 2023 could be renegotiated with a ‘revenue rebasing’. The expiry date of March 2023 can also be extended by a further 12 months.
FirstGroup chief executive Matthew Gregory said: ‘We welcome the news of the extension of the EMA for GWR. This demonstrates the essential nature of GWR’s services to the communities it serves, and provides important clarity and continuity for our customers, employees and wider stakeholders.’