SCOTRAIL TO MOVE TO OLR FROM MARCH 2022

Delay to Williams Review frustrates Scottish Government

OPERATION OF ScotRail will transfer to the Operator of Last Resort function within Transport Scotland from March 2022.

An arm’s length company owned and controlled by the Scottish Government will take over from Abellio, which has operated the ScotRail franchise since April 2015. A further Emergency Measures Agreement (EMA) will also be put in place for the ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper franchises until September.

Both franchises have operated under EMAs since April 2020. The latest extension covers the period from 1 April to 19 September, at an estimated further additional cost of around £173.1 million.

Speaking about the decision to transfer the ScotRail franchise to the OLR, Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson cited the continuing delay in publication by the UK Government of the Williams Review. Mr Matheson said the Scottish Government had decided it would not be appropriate to award a franchise agreement at this time, given decisions about the future of the ScotRail franchise must be taken within the existing UK Government legislative framework.

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