Arriva in UK review after ‘amicable’ APCO split

Bus and rail operator Arriva has parted company with APCO less than halfway through a two-year contract. It is now hunting a replacement public affairs agency as it sets its sights on snatching the South West Trains franchise from Stagecoach.

APCO was awarded a two-year contract with Arriva at the start of the year (PRWeek, 28 January). The parting was 'amicable', according to Arriva Trains comms manager Gavin Bostock, who joined in September, having previously been a spokesman at the Strategic Rail Authority.

Bostock said three agencies had been shortlisted to be Arriva's retained UK public affairs adviser, with a decision due in January. APCO will however continue to be retained by the company in Brussels.

Stagecoach's current SWT franchise expires in February 2007. Arriva will need to convince the Department of Transport of its credentials on safety, ticketing and punctuality, as well as build goodwill among local authorities.

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