London Midland welcomes franchise extension by the Department for Transport.(London Midland)

London Midland franchise extended by DfT.(London Midland Image)

London Midland has welcomed an extension of the company’s rail franchise by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, has asked London Midland to continue operating its franchise until at least December 2017 with a possible further extension until February 2018. The current contract was due to come to an end this October 2017.

Commenting on the contract extension, London Midland managing director, Patrick Verwer, 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.”

London Midland has been operating train services from London to Liverpool and across the West Midlands since 2007. The company’s current contract began in April 2016 and was due to end in October 2017. During this time London Midland has invested £14 million in raising performance and introducing additional passenger benefits including world leading free on-train entertainment and WiFi.

Since the start of 2017 London Midland has been named the country’s most improved train company by the Institute of Rail Operators and Britain’s most improved organisation for Customer Service by the UK Customer Service Institute. Investors in People has also upgraded the London Midland to Gold status, making the employer only the fourth train company to receive the top rating. The company has also won two Corporate Social Responsibility awards this year for its work with communities.