Edinburgh - Abellio Scotrail train at Edinburgh Waverley Station, Scotland at night, UK - Scotrail Franchise to terminate via break clause in 2022
Contributor:Tony Smith / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:45.3 MB (2 MB Compressed download)
Releases:Model - no | Property - noDo I need a release?
Dimensions:5472 x 2892 px | 46.3 x 24.5 cm | 18.2 x 9.6 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:7 January 2020
Location:Waverley, Edinburgh , Scotland, UK
Abellio ScotRail contract to end three years early Abellio ScotRail's contract to run train services in Scotland will end early, Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has announced. The Dutch firm has been running the franchise since 2015 but had faced criticism over cancellations and performance levels. The contract, worth more than £7bn over 10 years, was due to last until 2025. But Mr Matheson said a so-called "break clause" would be used to end the franchise three years early, in 2022. He told MSPs he was looking at other options for the future, including the franchise being run by the public sector. What is the ScotRail franchise? ScotRail operates about 2,400 train services a day, and covers all services in Scotland except those run by other operators which cross the border. It is not responsible for the maintenance of the track, which falls under Network Rail nor the operation of the main rail routes from Glasgow and Edinburgh to London. There had been political pressure on ministers over the service with complaints over a high number of cancellations, overcrowding and the cost of tickets. In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Mr Matheson said a proposed increase in government subsidy for the service would not deliver sufficient benefits to passengers or the economy. Image caption Mr Matheson told the Scottish parliament a "break clause" will be used to end the franchise early Mr Matheson said Abellio had "successes and challenges" over the first five years of the ScotRail franchise, but that his decision was "the right one for passengers, communities, the economy and taxpayers". He confirmed the contract would now run until 31 March, 2022. "It is of course necessary to plan for the future provision of ScotRail services and I can confirm that work is already under way to examine the options open to the Scottish ministers after the current contract comes to an end," he said. The franchise system for Britain's railways is grinding to a halt.