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30 Mar 2020

Southeastern confirms new Direct Award Contract

Southeastern confirms new Direct Award Contract: Southeastern despatching-2

Southeastern today confirms that the Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded a Direct Award Contract to Govia (a subsidiary of the Go Ahead Group (65%) and Keolis (35%)) to continue operating the Southeastern franchise.

The new contract commences on 1 April 2020 and will run until 16 October 2021, with the option to extend at the DfT’s discretion until 31 March 2022. 

Southeastern will continue its immediate focus on providing services for key workers in this time of national crisis. Looking further ahead, during the course of the contract term Southeastern will deliver a range of customer experience improvements including exploring options to boost capacity in the short-term as additional rolling stock becomes available, and continued partnership with Network Rail to develop a longer-term capacity, rolling stock and punctuality strategy for the Southeastern network beyond 2022. 

The new arrangement is a management contract, reflecting the DfT’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, announced on 23 March 2020 removing exposure to changes in passenger demand and costs.  

Punctuality on Southeastern has increased by nearly 10% in the last two years, and customer satisfaction hit a six-year high (81%) in the most recent National Rail Passenger Survey. 

David Statham, Southeastern Managing Director, said: 

“We continue to work with our industry partners to ensure that services are available to get people working in healthcare, food and other vital public services where they need to be.  When customers are able to begin travelling as normal, we look forward to reconnecting our communities and further improving capacity, performance and customer satisfaction”.    

Contact information

Southeastern Press Office

0330 095 9091

Notes to editors

For further information, please contact: 

Go-Ahead Press Office  

07896 968 971 


Go-Ahead is one of the leading UK public transport operator companies.  Its purpose is to be the local partner taking care of journeys that enhance the lives and wellbeing of communities across the world.  Employing around 30,000 people across our businesses, over 1.2 billion passenger journeys are undertaken on its rail and bus services every year. In addition to the travelling public, its customers include governments and local authorities. It is committed to contributing to tackling climate change, improving air quality and reducing social isolation, and aims to run a zero emission bus fleet by 2035.  


In the UK, Southeastern and GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) operate through Go-Ahead’s 65% owned subsidiary, Govia, which is 35% owned by Keolis. It is the largest rail operation in the UK, responsible for around 30 per cent of all UK passenger rail journeys through its rail franchises.  


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