FirstGroup wins rail extensions in DfT franchise shake-up

FirstGroup announced that its three of its five current rail franchises across the UK will run beyond their current planned end dates.

FirstGroup announced that its three of its five current rail franchises across the UK will run beyond their current planned end dates.

First Capital Connect, First Great Western and First TransPennine Express will all continue through their respective end dates, FirstGroup said in a statement on Tuesday morning.

The news comes after the Department for Transport (DfT) published for the first time ever a detailed, transparent timetable for all rail franchises over the next eight years, using a mixture of extensions to existing franchises and direct award contracts to ensure a better system.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said that the new approach to franchising will: provide long-term certainty to the market; support the DfT's massive programme of rail investment; and deliver on the review of rail reform.

"The publication of the timetable setting out the return to rail franchising is an important development for the industry, enabling the private sector to continue to provide effective and efficient passenger rail services with further performance and infrastructure improvements," said FirstGroup's Chief Executive Tim O'Toole.

"In particular, the extension of our First Capital Connect, First Great Western and First TransPennine Express franchises provides continuity and consistency for our passengers and enables us to continue to deliver considerable improvements to services."

Shares were more or less unchanged in early trading, up just 0.04% at 198.27p by 08:15.

BC

Recommended

Broker safety – your questions answered
Investment strategy

Broker safety – your questions answered

Cris Sholto Heaton answers more of your questions about the safety of stockbroker accounts
25 Mar 2020
How demographics affects stock valuations
Investment strategy

How demographics affects stock valuations

New research suggests that stock and bond valuations are driven by the age of the population – at least in the US.
24 Feb 2020
Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now
Stocks and shares

Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now

Mining giant Anglo American has proposed a cash takeover of Yorkshire-based minnow Sirius Minerals. Unhappy shareholders must decide whether to accept…
20 Feb 2020
Why investors should be “cautiously bullish” for 2020
Stockmarkets

Why investors should be “cautiously bullish” for 2020

Analysts have been out in force making rosy predictions for stockmarkets in 2020, but while there is certainly a case for optimism, investors should r…
17 Jan 2020

Most Popular

Here’s why you really should own at least some bitcoin
Bitcoin

Here’s why you really should own at least some bitcoin

While bitcoin is having a quiet year – at least in relative terms – its potential to become the default cash system for the internet is undiminished, …
16 Sep 2020
Will a second wave of Covid lead to another stockmarket crash?
Stockmarkets

Will a second wave of Covid lead to another stockmarket crash?

Can we expect to see another lockdown like in March, and what will that mean for your money? John Stepek explains.
18 Sep 2020
James Ferguson: How bad data is driving fear of a second wave of Covid-19
UK Economy

James Ferguson: How bad data is driving fear of a second wave of Covid-19

Merryn and John talk to MoneyWeek regular James Ferguson about the rise in infections in coronavirus and what the data is really telling us.
17 Sep 2020