Govia gets West Midlands franchise extension after DfT misses deadline for contract award

Rebecca Smith
The franchise was originally supposed to end in October
The franchise was originally supposed to end in October (Source: Getty)

Govia has been given an eight-week extension to run the West Midlands franchise, after the government missed its own deadline for awarding the contract.

Go-Ahead and Keolis' joint venture Govia runs the contract under its London Midland arm, and will now hold onto the franchise it has run since 2007 until at least early December.

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The extension was given after the Department for Transport (DfT) missed the deadline to award the new franchise in June this year - with the snap General Election throwing a spanner in the works.

Patrick Verwer, London Midland managing director, said:

This extension means we can continue to build on the successes that have made this an international award winning franchise in recent years.

Our focus will remain on delivering the best possible service to our passengers each and every day, and maintain strong levels of customer satisfaction.

The franchise was originally meant to end in October this year, but will now be extended to 10 December. The DfT also has the option of putting the decision back until 4 February next year, but it will have to decide whether to do so by 18 August.

Govia is bidding against a joint venture set up by Abellio with the East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co, for control of the line running from London Euston to the likes of Coventry and Birmingham.

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

Read more: Go-Ahead's Govia among shortlisted picks for Southeastern franchise

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