Positive start hailed for new rail franchise

Christian Allard at Inverurie Station
Christian Allard at Inverurie Station

Local SNP MSPs Alex Salmond and Christian Allard have hailed as “positive” the start to the new ScotRail franchise launched on Wednesday, April 1.

Abellio, the company that have taken over the ScotRail franchise,say that they will offer jobseekers free travel to interviews and a full month’s free travel when they secure a job. Additionally, £1 million pounds worth of free tickets are to be given away to customers who apply for them.

The service, the Scottish Government’s biggest contract, will offer a range of innovative fares including expanding the current Club55 concession to benefit those from the age of 50 and advance fares from £5 between any two Scottish cities.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Alex Salmond said, “I am sure the announcement of free tickets for jobseekers and the £1 million ticket give-away will come as welcome news to many of my constituents.

“It is also great to see that the current Club55 concession will be extended to include people from the age of 50.

“These measures will go a long way to improving connectivity for some of the most vulnerable people in Aberdeenshire communities.”

North East MSP Christian Allard addded, “It was always important for the Scottish Government that this franchise should be about enabling growth as well as providing a rail service.

“So it is particularly encouraging to see Abellio taking positive steps to help jobseekers find work by providing free travel.