First Group lose out as ScotRail goes Dutch

Inverurie Station: First Group will no longer operate trains out of Inverurie or Insch from April next year
Inverurie Station: First Group will no longer operate trains out of Inverurie or Insch from April next year

FirstGroup, the Aberdeen based transport operator have expressed disappointment at news that it has lost the ScotRail franchise.

The news comes on the heels of the firm being awarded Rail Operator of the Year last week (see inside page 4).

At the time of going to press there was still no official announcement from Transport Scotland on the decision, but FirstGroup said that they have been informed that they have not been awarded the new 10 year franchise. It is beleived that Dutch rail firm Abellio will be named as the new operator.

Commenting on the decision by the Scottish Government not renew the franchise, FirstGroup Chief Executive Tim O’Toole said, “We are very proud of our success in operating First ScotRail and our team were recognised last week, once again, as Rail Operator of the Year. We have kept our promises and more for ten years, delivering record levels of service including during this extraordinary summer in Scotland with the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup. Our bid would have delivered even greater levels of service and growth, and we are disappointed we will not have the opportunity to implement the credible plans we submitted, building on our record of improvement across every measurable score, for the benefit of ScotRail’s passengers and employees.