Sunday, 26 September 2021

Government extends Great Western Railway deal

Government extends GWR deal

FINANCIAL support from the Government to help Great Western Railway has been extended to June next year.

The Department for Transport has increased the support it is providing through the Emergency Measures Agreement.

This is designed to help the FirstGroup, GWR’s parent company, withstand the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic, with far fewer people using public transport since the lockdown started in March.

Operators had been seeking a promise of further financial support to keep trains running with more people returning to work and schools re-opening.

The decision has been welcomed by Matthew Golton, interim managing director of GWR, which runs services on the Henley branch line.

He said: “It ensures that we can continue to operate during the current situation, providing services that are essential to restarting the economy.

“Our responsibility is to run a service that our customers and our partners can rely on and we have taken sensible measures to make sure customers can travel by train with confidence.

“Importantly, it also means we can look to the future and continue to develop and deliver our plans for improvements for our customers and communities.”

A DfT spokesman said: “We are taking decisive action to keep services running during these unprecedented times, ensuring current excellent reliability levels are maintained while providing more space for social distancing and extra capacity for the future.”

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