DIRECTORS in transport giant FirstGroup have volunteered to take a 20 per cent cut in salaries and fees as it seeks to control costs in light of the downturn in activity sparked by coronavirus.

The chief executive of the Aberdeen-based company paid tribute to colleagues across its businesses who have lost their lives to Covid-19 as the firm continues to provide transport in the UK and US in an update to the City.

It said it was boosted by £300 million under UK Government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) scheme.

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It also reported ongoing UK Government support for critical bus and rail transportation services.

Matthew Gregory, FirstGroup chief executive, said: “I am deeply saddened that the coronavirus pandemic has now tragically claimed the lives of colleagues from within each of our five divisions in North America and the UK.

“Their families, friends and co-workers have our heartfelt condolences and support, and the thoughts of everyone at FirstGroup are with all those affected by the global pandemic. I am extremely proud of our people ...”

He also said that “the long-term fundamentals of our businesses remain sound”.