Good news for Tim O'Toole and First Group following today's announcement on the Thameslink and Great Western Franchises.
This from the DfT:
- The Great Western franchise competition will be terminated. The current franchise will now run until October after the Department exercised its contractual right to extend the current contract with First Great Western by 28 weeks. Negotiations for an additional two-year contract will commence with the operator, while longer-term proposals will be set out in the spring.
- The Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise competition will be resumed with the Department working towards awarding a seven-year contract. The current Thameslink/Great Northern franchise operated by First Capital Connect ends in September but allows for a 28-week extension, which the Department intends to exercise. Negotiations will commence for a further contract of up to two years as part of the finalisation of the wider franchise programme.
Alas on opening trading the markets appear somewhat underwhelmed...
Eye can't imagine why.