** On 23 March 2020, as a result of the Coronavirus Outbreak, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps utilised Section 118 of the Railways Act 1993 to suspend all current franchise agreements with private Train Operating Companies and replace them with new Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs), which will run for six months.
These EMAs apply to all franchises currently let by the Department for Transport, except for LNER and Northern, which are already in public ownership.
EMAs do not apply to:
• the ScotRail or the Caledonian Sleeper franchises let by the Scottish Government,
• the Transport for Wales Rail franchise let by the Welsh Government,
• the TfL Rail or London Overground contracts let by Transport for London, or
• the Merseyrail contract let by Merseytravel **
Read on for the original Franchise information…
Since September 2014, the Thameslink / Southern / Great Northern franchise has been operated by Govia, a joint venture between Go-Ahead Group, a British private-sector transport company, and Keolis, which is 70% owned by SNCF, the national state-owned rail operator in France. In July 2015, it was merged with Southern, encompassing most train services in south London and Sussex (including Gatwick Express), to become Britain’s largest rail franchise (known as TSGN). This is intended to run until 2021. Govia also operate the Southeastern franchise giving them a near-monopoly in South East England, and Keolis also operates the Transport for Wales Rail franchise in a joint venture with Amey.
• Do you use the Thameslink / Great Northern service regularly?
• Do you believe it should be returned to public hands as part of a re-unified national rail network run for people not profit?
• Then, why not start a campaign building up to the franchise end?
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