A FURTHER short-term extension to the South Eastern franchise is being sought with incumbent operator Govia. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed in a statement the extension would run until 10 November this year, with an option to extend the agreement further to April 2020. He said this would cover the period ‘while we make a decision on the competition’. The new franchise had originally been planned to start on 1 April, but in December an extension of 12 weeks for Govia was confirmed. Govia has operated Southeastern since April 2006, with direct award arrangements in place since October 2014.