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Go-Ahead hangs on to GTR franchise but accepts profits cap after year of commuter misery

The Department of Transport said that terminating the franchise would cause further and undue disruption
GTR will keep the franchise until 2021

Go-Ahead Group PLC’s (LON:GOG) GTR subsidiary has avoided being stripped of its rail franchise despite chaos on its network caused by strikes and timetable changes.

The Department of Transport said that terminating the franchise would cause further and undue disruption for passengers, so was not an appropriate course of action.

Instead, GTR has agreed to forego profits this year and will take a cap on what it makes until the franchise expires in 2021.

GTR will also contribute £15mln towards for 'tangible improvements' for passengers across the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern commuter networks in and around London.

The railway group has already paid towards £15mln in compensation for passengers affected by the disastrous introduction of a new timetable in May.

A transport department  inquiry into this year’s misery on the railways concluded it was caused by a series of mistakes and complex issues.

The DOT added it will continue to monitor closely the performance of GTR and can levy further penalties if it trips up again.

David Brown, Go-Ahead chief executive, said: "We recognise that the industry-wide failures in delivering the May timetable created huge difficulties for our customers, and we are sorry for the poor service they received. “

Go -Ahead, which owns 65% of GTR, said its full year expectations for the current financial year remain unchanged.


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