First Group has announced that it will not be taking up the option to extend the First Great Western franchise for a further three years.
Commenting on the decision, Anthony Smith Passenger Focus Chief Executive, said:
“With today’s news that First Great Western will not be extending its franchise beyond 2013 passengers will want assurances that service standards and quality will not slip as the company focuses on its future bid.
“The next franchise contract is an opportunity to improve rail services for passengers’ benefit. Going forward, Passenger Focus will work with government and industry to ensure that the next contract is focused on passenger priorities including better value for money, punctual trains and more frequent services.
“Also important are the inclusion of passenger satisfaction targets and repercussions if the train company lets passengers down.”