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
FIRSTGROUP PLC: Statement re ScotRail Franchise
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