FirstGroup fails to win East Anglia franchise

Aberdeen-based bus and rail giant FirstGroup said it was disappointed not to have been awarded the East Anglia rail franchise after submitting “a compelling, deliverable, and value for money” bid.

“We continue to be disciplined in our approach to bidding for UK rail contracts and will seek feedback from the Department for Transport to help shape our approach to future competitions,” said FirstGroup in a statement.

The Department for Transport said the East Anglia rail franchise had been awarded to Abellio East Anglia, “who will oversee this £1.4 billion investment to local rail services.”

The department said the award would deliver one of the biggest orders for British-built trains — almost £1 billion for 660 carriages from the Bombardier factory in Derby — as part of a contract that will secure 1,000 jobs into the next decade.