FIRSTGROUP PLC: Statement re ScotRail Franchise

6 December 2012 
                            FIRSTGROUP PLC                                  


                       Statement re: ScotRail Franchise                        

FirstGroup plc, the leading transport operator in the UK and North America,
welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Government today that the ScotRail
franchise will continue until 31 March 2015, from its current end date of 9
November 2014.

ScotRail will continue to deliver improvements for passengers throughout this
period, and play an important role in delivering high quality services during
the major events due to take place in the second half of 2014, including the
Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Commenting, Tim O'Toole, Chief Executive said:

"We are delighted that the Scottish Government has announced that the ScotRail
franchise will continue until March 2015. Everyone at ScotRail has worked
tirelessly to deliver excellent service and improvements for customers. This is
an exciting time for the railway in Scotland with new trains, stations and
routes introduced since the start of the franchise. Our increasing number of
passengers will see additional benefits up to and beyond Scotland's important
year of 2014.

"Passenger numbers have reached historic highs with more than 81m people
choosing to travel with ScotRail during 2011/12, representing an increase of
30% since the start of the franchise in 2004. We have also delivered
significant improvements in punctuality and reliability which now stands at
92.3% compared to 83% when we took over the franchise."

The Scottish Government have announced that peak fares will be capped in
January 2014 and 2015 at RPI, rather than RPI+1% and off-peak fares will be
frozen at the January 2013 level for the remainder of the franchise, subject to
RPI being no greater than 3.5%. Additional services will also be introduced
between Glasgow and Aberdeen, Ayr and Oban and Aberdeen commuter services will
be enhanced.

ScotRail will also continue their innovative alliance with Network Rail, which
has already delivered results for passengers and Transport Scotland including
the redevelopment of the Paisley Canal line with fewer disruptions and on a
lower budget than originally anticipated.

For further information please contact:

Rachael Borthwick, Group Corporate Communications Director, FirstGroup

Stuart Butchers, Group Corporate Communications Manager, FirstGroup

Tel: 020 7291 0512

Notes to editors

  * FirstGroup was awarded the ScotRail franchise on 20 August 2004 and
    commenced operation on 17 October 2004.
      * The initial franchise was awarded for seven years and a three year
    extension option subject to performance targets, which was announced in
    April 2008. This three year option had a further contingency period of up
    to seven months built in, which has now been exercised.
      * Passenger numbers are at historic highs, with 81m people choosing to take
    ScotRail services in 2011/12, up by 17m since the start of the franchise in
    2004.
      * Steadily improved operational performance over the first three years of the
    franchise has been sustained with punctuality and reliability figures
    improved on a moving annual average basis from 83% in 2004 to over 92% with
    delays caused by the operator falling to less than half their original
    level.
      * The latest independent National Passenger Survey (published in June 2012)
    revealed that ScotRail rated above average in 31 of 33 categories,
    including overall customersatisfaction, punctuality and reliability and
    staff helpfulness.
      * In the key category of `overall customer satisfaction' ScotRail scored 89%
    - three percentage points higher than last year and six points above the UK
    average.
    

END

-0- Dec/06/2012 15:16 GMT