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Govia gets West Midlands franchise extension after DfT misses contract deadline

The current West Midlands franchise will be given an eight-week extension, the DfT has today decided.

Operated by London Midland, an arm of Govia, the franchise was originally expected to end in October this year, but now will be extended to 10 December.

A further eight-week extension to 4 February 2018 could also be granted if the DfT chooses to take this option by 18 August.

The extension was granted as a result of the DfT missing the deadline to award the new franchise in June this year.

West Midlands has been operated by Govia since 2007, and the company is now competing with Abellio, partnered with the East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co Ltd, for the fresh contract.

Hong Kong firm MTR was originally in the running, but unexpectedly withdrew its interest in June last year.

“This announcement means we can continue to build on the successes of the last five years that have made this an international award-winning franchise,” said London Midland managing director, Patrick Verwer.

“Our focus will remain on delivering the best possible service to our passengers, each day and every day. This approach is already producing high levels of customer satisfaction.

“During the months ahead we will continue to work with the DfT and all our stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition for the awarding of the new, long-term franchise.”

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Andrew Gwilt   17/07/2017 at 22:43

8 week extension. Thats not long. 8 weeks isn't long enough. But yet again Govia are likely to lose the West Midlands franchise to another rail operator. Abellio extended the East Anglia franchise last year to 9 years (2016-2024). Plus with new trains on order to replace the older rolling stocks.

Mark Hare   18/07/2017 at 15:47

8 weeks isn't long enough for what? There would have been no extension in the first place if the DfT hadn't missed the deadline to award the franchise. All that's happening is the DfT is buying itself more time and prolonging the uncertainty of everyone involved with the bid teams and those working at LM.

Lewis C   18/07/2017 at 18:27

Yet again Govia are likely to lose? Andrew, show me the facts. We know that Govia are just as likely to retain the franchise as Abellio are to gain it! They've done nothing wrong (in the grand scheme of things). They introduced more 350s, replaced the 150s on the Snow Hill lines and they've not done too badly in other aspects. I should know, I live in the West Midlands!

Andrew Gwilt   19/07/2017 at 00:01

Can't you get the facts by yourself Lewis C.

Chris Grayling   19/07/2017 at 16:01

You need to back up your own claims Andrew.

Andrew Gwilt   19/07/2017 at 23:14

@Chris. Me back my own claims. Rubbish.

Mark Hare   20/07/2017 at 12:24

@Andrew - on this occasion at least, you are quite right - your claims are indeed rubbish. Unless you work in a senior position at the DfT, I very much doubt you have any more idea about who will be awarded the West Midlands franchise than anyone else, so it might be best to stop speculating. You're welcome.

Andrew Gwilt   21/07/2017 at 01:08

Mark. Don't try to act cocky ok.

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