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FirstGroup lifts annual guidance as bus, rail passenger numbers improive

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Friday 10 Mar 2023

(Sharecast News) - Transport operator FirstGroup lifted annual guidance as passenger traffic on its buses and trains continued to recover from Covid pandemic levels.
The company on Friday said bus passenger volumes have increased to 83% of 2020 equivalent levels, with commercial and concessionary volumes at 87% and 75% respectively. FirstGroup cited the £2 bus fare cap scheme introduced in England in January, and recently extended to the end of June 2023, and the Scottish government's funding for free bus travel for all under-22s that has been in place since January 2022.

First Bus has also benefited from increased recruitment of drivers largely due to a number of initiatives introduced across the business, with more drivers completing their training and lower rates of attrition.

"Our open access operations Lumo and Hull Trains, which are the only segment of the First Rail division where the Group takes full passenger revenue risk, have experienced stronger than anticipated passenger demand throughout H2 2023. The First Rail division has also benefited from the settlement of one-off claims relating to prior reporting periods," the company said in a trading statement.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for


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