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Govia Thameslink emergency contract extended

THE government has extended Govia Thameslink Railway’s Emergency Recovery Measures Agreement from 20 September to 31 March 2022.

The original GTR franchise was unusual, because the DfT collected the revenue from the beginning, paying Go-Ahead a management fee.

However, GTR had to pay its own costs until the first pandemic emergency measures put all franchises on hold in March last year. The government then announced in September that franchises would not be restored, and the new Williams-Shapps rail review says they will be replaced by low-risk concessions in the longer term.

Go-Ahead said about 90 per cent of its revenues are now coming from contracts which do not include revenue risk, and that Govia Thameslink Railway provides ‘a margin of up to 1.5 per cent’.

Go-Ahead CEO David Brown said: ‘The extension of this contract recognises the vital role GTR plays in connecting communities and enabling their green and sustainable economic recovery. More people are using our rail services now than at any time during the pandemic, and we look forward to welcoming more customers back in the months ahead.’

The extension of the present GTR arrangement follows the award of the first two National Rail contracts to FirstGroup last month, covering South Western Railway and TransPennine Express. These contracts are due to run until May 2023.

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