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

The MoneyWeek Podcast: picking stocks is fun, but you need to do your homework
Investment strategy

The MoneyWeek Podcast: picking stocks is fun, but you need to do your homework

John Stepek talks to Steve Clapham, investor, analyst and author of The Smart Money Method, about the dangers in picking individual stocks and why you…
8 Apr 2021
BP looks set to return more money to shareholders as it beats expectations
Energy stocks

BP looks set to return more money to shareholders as it beats expectations

Oil major BP is to embark on a share buyback programme after significantly reducing its debts. Saloni Sardana looks at what it means for your portfoli…
6 Apr 2021
Deliveroo has hit the market – but it’s not getting the warmest welcome
UK stockmarkets

Deliveroo has hit the market – but it’s not getting the warmest welcome

Food delivery company Deliveroo made its debut on the stockmarket this morning. But with the share price sliding by 30% straight away, it’s not made t…
31 Mar 2021
Three stocks to buy now that will come back stronger after Covid-19
Share tips

Three stocks to buy now that will come back stronger after Covid-19

Professional investor Ed Wielechowski of Odyssean Capital, chooses three compelling stocks that should thrive in a post-pandemic world.
29 Mar 2021

Most Popular

The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it
Bitcoin

The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it

The cryptocurrency’s price has soared far beyond its fundamentals, says Matthew Partridge. Here, he looks at how to short bitcoin.
12 Apr 2021
Four investment trusts for income investors to buy now
Investment trusts

Four investment trusts for income investors to buy now

Some high-yielding listed lending funds have come through the crisis with flying colours. David Stevenson picks four of the best.
12 Apr 2021
Central banks are rushing to build digital currencies. What are they, and what do they mean for you?
Bitcoin

Central banks are rushing to build digital currencies. What are they, and what do they mean for you?

As bitcoin continues to soar in value, many of the world’s central banks are looking to emulate it by issuing their own digital currencies. But centra…
8 Apr 2021