Start of new West Midlands franchise delayed

Photo: Claudio Divizia /

London Midland has received an extension to continue operating its West Midlands franchise services until at least December 2017, the company has announced.

The Department for Transport (DfT) had been due to announce the winner of the new franchise agreement, which was due to start in October, last month.

London Midland will now hang on to the franchise until the end of the year, with a possible extension until February 2018.

A DfT spokesman said: “We want the next operator to deliver real improvements for passengers across the West Midlands and provide more space, improved connectivity and more frequent journeys.

“We are currently evaluating the two bids and the winner will be announced in due course.”

London Midland, which is owned by Govia, has operated services on the route since 2007. Govia is also one of the two bidders shortlisted for the next franchise deal.

Patrick Verwer, London Midland’s managing director, said: “This announcement means we can continue to build on the successes of the last five years that have made this an international award winning franchise.

“Our focus will remain on delivering the best possible service to our passengers, each day and every day. This approach is already producing high levels of customer satisfaction.

“During the months ahead we will continue to work with the DfT and all our stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition for the awarding of the new, long-term, franchise.”

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