ERMAs have a maximum duration of 18 months until March 2022 and must terminate the expiry of the current deductibles at the expiry of these contracts. In a statement, the First Group said the Department of Transport intended to „start discussions with railways on the transition to new contracts directly awarded for longer terms that would come into effect at the end of the ERMA.“ At this time, it is not clear what a „direct market“ will entail. In practice, this means that almost all financial risks associated with the railways are borne by the government. The financial risk of the Rail franchise in Wales and Borders, known as Transport for Wales (TfW), has already been taken over by taxpayers under a $65 million deal signed in May. In March 2020, an initial short-term agreement worth $40 million was confirmed to support the rail system during the March closure due to the COVID 19 pandemic. On 31 May 2020, an emergency agreement was approved to support KeolisAmey Wales; she explained in detail that the Welsh government has announced that it will spend up to $65 million over the next six months to ensure that trains continue to run on the franchise.  Although no further details have yet been published as to the UK government`s intention to deal with the rail network sectors it controls, one of the most important issues, according to Williams Review, is the need for further decentralisation. In this context, decentralisation implies rather a regional approach in England, for example the possibility for metro mayors to control rail transport in their territories. The Welsh government, which has placed the Wales and Borders franchise under public control as the operator of the charging resort (OLR), has attracted a lot of media attention in recent weeks, with political statements for and against such a move.
Here, Rhiannon Holtham wonders if this decision can set a new precedent. In March 2000, the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority announced plans to create a separate franchise for Wales and borders   In October 2001, the Valley Lines and Wales – West Franchises were restructured as Wales – Borders and Wessex Trains, the former taking responsibility for most routes in Wales , including Cambrian line services from Central Trains. All franchises have been operated by National Express.   But from February next year, KeolisAmey employees working in rail transport will be transferred to a public company currently called Transport for Wales Rail Ltd. At present, it is difficult to assume the method that the UK government will use for rail services when the ErMA ends in accordance with the corresponding franchising agreements until further details are released. James Price, executive chief of Welsh Government quango Transport for Wales, who oversaw the franchise and shared the branding with him, said the vehicles were „on the way“ and „are already being paid for the bulk.“ Plaid Cymru spokeswoman Helen Mary Jones said it could be „the right decision,“ said her party „has always argued that our railways should be put in the hands of the public and that the government puts passengers ahead of profit.“ The Welsh Government is responsible for operators operating in Wales through a simple Wales service. The Welsh franchise and borders (under the control of the Welsh Government) has been entrusted to the Welsh Government. It was the first time the Welsh government had gone beyond the franchise. Rail transport for Wales will be under the control of the Welsh Government from next February.