West Coast Partnership Contract Extension
FirstGroup statement about West Coast Partnership Contract Extension.
FirstGroup plc today announces that it has agreed with the Department for Transport (‘DfT’) to extend the
current contractual arrangements for the West Coast Partnership (‘WCP’) to the end of March 2023. The WCP
rail contract comprises operation of Avanti West Coast and acting as shadow operator to the HS2 programme.
WCP is currently operating under an Emergency Recovery Measures Agreement (‘ERMA’) which was put in
place by the DfT in September 2020 to provide continuity for rail passengers and the industry during the
recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The ERMA arrangements for WCP were previously set to expire on
16 October 2022 and will now run until the end of March 2023 under broadly the same terms and conditions.
Discussions are ongoing with DfT regarding the longer-term National Rail Contract for WCP.
Commenting, Graham Sutherland, FirstGroup Chief Executive Officer said:
"We are committed to working closely with government and our partners across the industry to deliver a
successful railway that serves the needs of our customers and communities. Today’s agreement allows our
team at Avanti West Coast to sustain their focus on delivering their robust plan to restore services to the levels
that passengers rightly expect."
Avanti West Coast
Notes to editors
FirstGroup plc (LSE: FGP.L) is a leading private sector provider of public transport services. With £4.6 billion in revenue and more than 30,000 employees, our UK divisions transported nearly 1.5m passengers a day in the last financial year. First Bus is the second largest regional bus operator in the UK, serving two-thirds of the UK’s 15 largest conurbations with a fleet of c.4,900 buses. First Rail is the UK’s largest rail operator, with many years of experience running long-distance, commuter, regional and sleeper rail services. We operate a fleet of c.3,800 rail vehicles through four management fee-based train operating companies (Avanti, GWR, SWR, TPE) and two open access routes (Hull Trains and Lumo). We create solutions that reduce complexity, making travel smoother and life easier. Our businesses are at the heart of our communities and the essential services we provide are critical to delivering wider economic, social and environmental goals. We are formally committed to operating a zero-emission First Bus fleet by 2035 and to cease purchasing further diesel buses after 2022; and First Rail will help support the UK Government’s goal to remove all diesel-only trains from service by 2040. In 2022 FirstGroup was named as one of the world's cleanest 200 public companies for the third consecutive year by sustainable business media group Corporate Knights in partnership with US not-for-profit organisation, As You Sow. Visit our website at www.firstgroupplc.com and follow us @firstgroupplc on Twitter.