Response to the announcement (18 December 2019) by the Transport Secretary Michael Matheson that Abellio’s ScotRail contract will end in March 2022.

Dominic Booth, Managing Director of Abellio UK, said:

“We are hugely disappointed by this decision and believe it’s the wrong choice for Scotland’s Railway and its customers.

“Abellio has invested more than £475million in new and upgraded trains, added 23 per cent more seats for customers and created more than 500 extra jobs in Scotland since the start of the franchise in 2015 - the biggest investment in trains and stations in over 150 years.

“Our offer to Transport Scotland would have delivered an improved service for our customers at a reduced cost to the taxpayer.

“We will remain fully committed to running a safe and reliable service until the end of the contract in 2022. While this decision creates unnecessary uncertainty for more than 5,200 staff and our customers, we will maintain our focus on delivering vital projects for Scotland’s Railway and seeing through the delivery of significant customer benefits until 2022.”

Notes to Editors

Abellio will work closely with whoever the Scottish Government chooses to deliver rail services from 2023 to 2025. We also note that it will now have to begin a procurement process under the old DfT franchising process.

The next five years is a vital period in the life of Scotland’s Railway. Transport Scotland will be aware that there are many projects and investments such as preparing for a fully decarbonised railway by 2035 that will be delayed or put at risk with a change in control of the ScotRail franchise.