The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced the competition for the Southeastern rail franchise has been cancelled.
A DfT spokesman said, “We have taken the decision to cancel the South Eastern franchise competition.
“This follows significant concerns that continuing the competition process would lead to additional costs incurred to the taxpayer, with no certainty that this would deliver envisaged benefits for passengers in a timely fashion.
“The Department will use this period to develop a solution that delivers the capacity and performance benefits that passengers are expecting, and ensure that the recommendations of the Williams Review can be implemented.”
Southeastern managing director David Statham said, “We’re proud to have delivered more than £80m of improvements for passengers since we began a new Direct Award contract in 2014.
“Punctuality has improved by nearly 10% in two years, we’ve introduced free wi-fi on our trains, and boosted capacity on board with 5,000 extra seats.
“Over this next extension period, our focus remains squarely on our passengers, delivering more improvements and continuing to improve the punctuality and reliability of our services.”