Scottish government says Abellio ScotRail contract will end early

LONDON (Reuters) - The Scottish government announced on Wednesday that Abellio’s contract to run ScotRail would end early, saying additional subsidy for the rail operator would not provide the necessary benefit to passengers or the economy.

Scotland’s Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said the existing franchise deal with Abellio, a subsidiary of Dutch national rail operator NS, required the Scottish government to look at the level of subsidy required for the next five years of the contract and whether extra money was required.

“Any changes to the level of subsidy paid by the government must deliver new benefits for passengers and taxpayers and whilst there have been improvements in recent years, the proposed changes were not sufficient to justify additional subsidy,” he said in a statement.

Abellio’s franchise deal is now expected to end three years early in March 2022.

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison