Southeastern: 'Serious errors' made, says rail operator

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Southeastern trainImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
Southeastern handed over the running of its services on 17 October

A train operator has admitted "serious errors" over the running of Southeastern, which was stripped of its franchise by the government.

The Go-Ahead Group had the routes taken away after it failed to declare more than £25m of taxpayer funding.

It has apologised for failing to repay the money owed to the Department for Transport (DfT).

Go-Ahead said it expected to pay a fine to the DfT, although it said the full amount is unclear at this time.

The Southeastern franchise had been run owned by Govia, a joint venture between Go-Ahead Group and Keolis, since 2006.

Southeastern's network is one of the busiest in Britain, stretching across south-east England, including London, Kent, East Sussex and the High Speed 1 line.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Passengers were told that there would be "no immediate changes" to services

The operation of all Southeastern services was transferred from London South Eastern Railway (LSER) to SE Trains Limited on 17 October.

Go-Ahead Group's chief financial officer, Elodie Brian, resigned after the decision to take over the franchise was announced.

Go-Ahead said: "Serious errors were made by LSER with respect to its engagement with the DfT over several years.

"In particular, the group accepts that, by failing to notify the DfT of certain overpayments or monies due to the DfT, LSER breached contractual obligations,

"Accordingly, the group has apologised to the DfT."

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