REG-FirstGroup PLC: Statement re InterCity West Coast Rail Franchise Award
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FIRSTGROUP PLC STATEMENT RE: INTERCITY WEST COAST RAIL FRANCHISE AWARD We understand that Virgin Rail Ltd a subsidiary of Virgin Rail Group, the joint venture between Virgin Group and Stagecoach Group plc, has brought a legal challenge against the Department for Transport in relation to the recent award of the InterCity West Coast rail franchise to FirstGroup. We have every confidence in the DfT's process which is rigorous, detailed and fair and in which bids are thoroughly tested. There has been no complaint about the process, which was carefully described in advance, until Virgin Rail Group had lost commercially. Our plans for the new InterCity West Coast franchise include faster journeys, new trains, more seats and more direct services from London than currently on offer. There will be improved WiFi, better catering, refurbished stations and Standard Anytime Fares will be reduced by 15% on average within the first two years. We look forward to welcoming passengers to their new and exciting InterCity West Coast service in December and creating a better railway for all. Our focus is to ensure a smooth transition with continuity for staff and passengers alike. We want to get on with delivering the many benefits and improvements we are offering without delay or disruption. We will continue to prepare for a successful start up of the new franchise on 9 December 2012. Contacts FirstGroup: Rachael Borthwick, Group Corporate Communications Director Tel +44 (0)20 7291 0508 Brunswick PR Michael Harrison/Andrew Porter, Tel +44 207 404 5959 END
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