The Scottish Government has extended the ScotRail franchise to allow time to analyse the findings of two inquiries into the cancelled West Coast Main Line competition.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said the franchise would now run for an additional four months to March 31, 2015, to “allow time to process” Westminster’s Brown Review and the Laidlaw Inquiry, which was published last week.
Brown said: “The Laidlaw Inquiry has concluded and has made clear that there was an accumulation of errors caused by factors including inadequate planning and preparation, a complex organisational structure and a weak governance and quality assurance framework.
“I fully expect the DfT to be revising its internal structure and processes in the light of the report.
“We are clearly in a better place. I am comforted that the processes and planning adopted within Transport Scotland adequately address the issues raised by the Laidlaw Inquiry. However, we are not complacent and we are reviewing the findings to glean where we can make improvements.”
FirstGroup chief executive Tim O’Toole 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.”
The Scottish Government has also announced that peak fares will be capped in January 2014 and 2015 at RPI 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 per cent.