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Following the decision to cancel the South Eastern Franchise competition, the Department is developing a solution to deliver benefits to passengers as quickly as possible. In the immediate term, the Department is considering the most appropriate route to contract the franchise after 1 April 2020. This could be in the form of either another Direct Award with the incumbent operator, or the transfer of the franchise to the Operator of Last Resort. A decision, that puts passengers interests first, will be made in March.