Posted 20th January 2017 | No Comments

ScotRail chief Phil Verster in surprise resignation

THE managing director of the ScotRail deep alliance Phil Verster has resigned, only a day after he reportedly clashed with Scottish transport minister Humza Yousaf over the cost of giving season ticket holders a week of free travel in compensation for disruption over recent months.

The problems have been attributed to the amount of upgrade work which is being carried out in the central belt, including the key electrification scheme between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh.

Mr Verster, who has only been in his job since 2015, is moving to manage the new East West Rail project announced by transport secretary Chris Grayling before Christmas.

Phil Verster said: “Over the last two years I have worked with my team to launch the ScotRail Alliance, delivering hundreds of commitments and laying the ground for the exciting new train fleets that will start to arrive later this year. The opportunity to build on these same principles with the creation of a new business such as East West Rail is great for me and my family, and I wish the ScotRail Alliance team all the best for the future.”

Network Rail said his successor 'has been agreed and will be announced in the coming days'.

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: “Phil has done a great job setting up the ScotRail Alliance and overseeing the delivery of one of the largest programmes of rail modernisation in Scotland since Victorian times. I am delighted that a leader of Phil’s calibre will be heading up the new East West rail project, recently announced by the Secretary of State. We have agreed a replacement to succeed Phil and will be making an announcement shortly.”

The ScotRail franchise is run by Abellio, whose managing director Dominic Booth said: “Phil has played a key role in helping us create the ScotRail Alliance, the first time an operating company has come together in such a deep alliance with Network Rail to deliver the very best for our customers."