As you will have seen in the news this morning, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that GTR's Emergency Measures Agreement (EMA), which ended on 20 September 2020, has been replaced by an Emergency Recovery Measures Agreement (ERMA).
GTR will operate under its ERMA until the end of its contract term in September 2021, with the potential for a further extension.
The signing of the ERMA is good news for our passengers and our staff. It brings stability which means we can focus on our response to the pandemic and delivering our customers' needs.
The pandemic has changed the way we work and changed what customers need from our service. Over the past six months , during phase one of the EMA, we have built new relationships with hospitals, schools and business, asking for their input and feedback on our services so we can develop them with their needs in mind.
We will continue to do this, working with our MPs and user groups make sure that our plans are clear and continue to focus on the local needs of communities, whether it is train services or simpler ticketing for a post-Covid world and your continuing support in this regard is greatly appreciated.
Our CEO Patrick Verwer is pleased with the news: "We welcome today's announcement and the stability this new agreement brings for our colleagues, who continue to focus on providing a safe and reliable service as we welcome back more customers. "We will continue to work with our partners and stakeholders across the industry to help reconnect communities, improve our performance and ensure high levels of customer satisfaction."
David Brown, CEO of GTR's parent company Go-Ahead, said: "This contract reaffirms the Government's recognition of the important role rail plays in driving economic growth and in connecting communities. Independent passenger surveys have found that people who have recently travelled on our services found them to be clean, safe and reliable. We look forward to welcoming more passengers back onto our trains."
The announcement about our contract is part of a package of measures for the UK rail industry unveiled by the DfT today which you can read more about here.