TRAIN operator First Capital Connect has been given a 12-month extension on their franchise.

TRAIN operator First Capital Connect (FCC) has been given a 12-month extension on its franchise.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has extended the franchise to September 2014 at which time a new franchise, which will incorporate rail services currently operated by Southern, will be up for tender.

FCC provide services between Huntingdon, St Neots and London King's Cross and Peterborough.

Neal Lawson, FCC managing director, said: "Despite the challenges of operating an ageing fleet of trains, passenger satisfaction has improved during our time in charge of the franchise, some elements by up to 17 per cent, despite carrying 14million more people a year. We have brought in extra trains and longer services to deliver 29 per cent more seats at the busiest times of the day on the Thameslink route and 22 per cent extra on the Great Northern.

"We have also shown we can manage complex projects such as the Thameslink Programme which will deliver more much-needed new capacity and route improvements and we will continue working closely on this with the DfT and our industry partners."