Go-Ahead Group PLC (LON:GOG) has confirmed an extension to its current Southeastern rail franchise.
The FTSE 250 transport operator, which also runs the Govia Thameslink railway, said it would continue to operate services on the franchise until 10 November, as opposed to the original end date of 22 June, with an option to extend the period to 1 April 2020 to allow the UK government more time to review and choose a winner for the next franchise.
Over the newly extended period, Go-Ahead said it would introduce an improved compensation scheme as part of a suite of passenger-focused improvements.
The ‘Delay Repay 15’ scheme will mean passengers delayed by 15 minutes or more will receive money back for the inconvenience, a reduction from the current compensation limit with applies to delays of over 30 minutes.
“I don't want any of our passengers to be delayed, but if they are it's really important that we compensate them properly. That's why I'm delighted to announce these improvements to Delay Repay, which will make a real difference for people who experience shorter delays of between 15 and 30 minutes", said David Statham, Southeastern's Managing Director.
"This extension gives us the opportunity to build on the customer improvements we've delivered over recent months, during which service punctuality has reached its highest levels in Southeastern's history”, he added.
Go-Ahead has operated the Southeastern franchise since 2006 as part of a joint venture (JV) with Keolis, a Franco-Québécois transport operator which owns 35% of the JV compared to Go-Ahead’s 65%.
In late-morning trading on Thursday, Go-Ahead shares were down 0.5% at 1,990p.