Transport operator Go-Ahead has apologized for “serious failures” in its Southeastern Railway franchise, as it delayed results and prepared to suspend trading in its shares after failing to report amounts owed in government for years.
Ministers withdrew the franchise from the UK rail and bus operator at the end of September after finding that Go-Ahead failed to declare more than £ 25million in taxpayer funding that should have been returned since 2014 .
Go-Ahead said on Thursday that an independent review had confirmed that its railway company had failed to notify the Department for Transport of payments due and therefore breached its contractual obligations under the UK’s rail franchising system.
“The review revealed serious mistakes were made by London and South Eastern Railways in its engagement with DfT over several years. . . as a result, the Group apologized, ”said Go-Ahead.
The undeclared funding, which has now been repaid, was initially discovered by a government official. They relate to unreimbursed financial support from the government to cover the costs of access to the tracks of High Speed 1, the rail link that connects London to the Channel Tunnel through the south-east of England, according to two people. close to the file.
Go-Ahead operated the South East franchise via Govia, a joint venture with the French company Keolis.
Given the chaos in its rail business, Go-Ahead said Thursday it was unsure of when it would be able to release its annual results, which were originally due on September 30.
Deloitte, the company’s auditor, said it would not be able to complete the audit until Jan. 3, the latest date allowed for the results to be released by UK regulators.
Go-Ahead therefore requested the suspension of its shares on January 4 until the publication of the results, which is now expected before the end of January.