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South Eastern (Southeastern)

What is happening now?

A shortlist of three bidders has also been announced to compete to run the new South Eastern franchise, which is due to start in December 2018. They are:

  • Abellio (joint venture between Abellio and the consortium of East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui)
  • Govia
  • Stagecoach

A fourth shortlisted bidder, Trenitalia, has subsequently withdrawn from the process.

The South Eastern franchise network is one of the largest and busiest in the country. Passengers on this network have told us they want a more punctual and reliable service with more space to sit and stand. They want to be treated well when things go wrong. With the bidders confirmed, Transport Focus will be working with them and the Government to keep passengers’ expectations firmly at the centre of the new plans.

We responded to the DfT’s consultation on the next franchise. Our response is based on our insight into what passengers want, including our focus group research into the experiences and aspirations of current Southeastern passengers, which we published in April. The key priorities for improvement are:

  • punctuality and reliability
  • minimise and effectively manage disruptions
  • capacity
  • information
  • value for money.

As part of the consultation process, we have been presenting our insight into Southeastern passengers’ experiences and aspirations for new franchise at a number of public events. We welcomed the extension of the consultation period to allow those events that were cancelled due to the general election to happen. The consultation document can be found here.

Transport Focus is continuing to discuss the specification with the Department for Transport.

Southeastern, the existing operator, will continue to run services until the start of a new franchise.

Transport Focus reports and publications

June 2017 South Eastern rail franchise consultation response
April 2017 eSouth Eastern rail franchise: what passengers want
October 2013 Southeastern Direct Award – Passenger Focus submission to the Department for Transport
September 2012 TSGN – Consultation response from Passenger Focus
September 2012 TSGN franchise passenger research summary
May 2012 TSGN – excel summary 
May 2012 TSGN -stated preference report
May 2012 TSGN and South Eastern franchise – an initial submission from Passenger Focus


Click here for key Department for Transport publications

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