Scotland

Scotrail operator Abellio hit by scandal

scotrail trains Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Abellio took over the ScotRail franchise from First Group earlier this year

ScotRail will not be affected by a scandal that has hit the Dutch company that runs the rail franchise, the Scottish government has said.

Two executives left Abellio and its state-owned parent company on Friday after a probe into the awarding of a major contract in the Netherlands.

Abellio took over the ScotRail franchise earlier this year after winning the £2.5bn contract.

The Scottish government said there were no doubts about the ScotRail process.

Abellio chief Jeff Hoogesteger and Timo Huges, head of its parent company Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), which is owned by the Dutch government, both left their posts after an investigation into the awarding of a public transport contract in the Netherlands which was won by Abellio.

Mr Huges has been accused of giving an "incorrect and incomplete" statement about his involvement in passing on confidential information about a rival bidder to Abellio during the tender process.

'Appropriate steps'

Abellio also runs the Greater Anglia rail franchise in England.

A Scottish government spokesman said: "We are aware of the outcome of investigations of the franchise competition for regional passenger services in Limburg.

"However we have today (Friday) received assurances that appropriate steps are being taken by Abellio UK to continue to manage its separate UK franchises by putting customers first.

"There is absolutely no suggestion of any conduct that puts the ScotRail franchise procurement process in doubt. Reviews by Audit Scotland and independent auditors have supported and indeed praised the process and the outcome."