As of this morning, franchising will be replaced by Emergence Recovery Management Agreements (ERMAs), which set performance targets and requirements for former franchise operators for a fee for the operation of the railway. Administrative costs do not exceed 1.5% of the franchise cost base prior to the start of the pandemic. The new contracts also require operators to work better together and reduce the cost of railway capital. Just over 24 years after its launch in 1996, railway crossings should be abolished, according to the government. In October 2013, a government document outlining the economic arguments for high speed 2 (HS2) contained references to future plans for the national rail network as a «minimum do» basis to which HS2 was compared. Assumptions for the Greater Western franchise included: This is where lawyers engage and franchises are finally invited to offer with double shame costs and never again. In November 2017, the government announced plans to split the franchise to create a new West of England franchise that would offer remote connections between London, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, as well as local and regional links in the south-west.   This proposal was abandoned by the Department of Transportation following consultation.  At the same time, the government confirmed its intention to extend the franchise until March 2020 and proposed a further extension until March 2022.
 In March 2020, the DfT granted a further extension until March 31, 2023, with the possibility of extending for an additional year.   Of course, some franchisees could simply choose to leave forever? Largest Western franchise added: Service Level Engagement 3b. In April 2005, the Authority announced that FirstGroup, National Express and Stagecoach had been shortlisted to apply for the new franchise.  First Group, which operates the South Western Railway franchise, stated that its contract expires at the end of March 2021. FirstGroup has been mandated to continue the Great Western Railway (GWR) franchise for a further three years until 2023. Amendments requiring Great Western to introduce a new class of trains (Class 769) and specifying that Heathrow Express is not a franchise service and further changes are being made. The national survey conducted last fall by the consumer organization Transport Focus showed that 86% of GWR passengers were «satisfied» or felt that services were «good», an envelope of eight percentage points compared to the previous year and exceeding the national average of 82%.