West Coast Mainline deal with First Group is scrapped

Wednesday 03 October 2012 Updated: 05/10 13:43

THE bidding process to run trains on the West Coast Mainline is to be carried out again.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said today (Tuesday) he was cancelling the deal agreed with First Group which had out bid current operators Virgin Trains.

Mr McLoughlin significant technical flaws had been discovered in the way the franchise process was conducted.

Virgin Trains had previouosly launched a legal challenge.

First Group, which was due to take over the line on December 9 said: "We are extremely disappointed to learn this news and await the outcome of the DfT's inquiries.

"We submitted a strong bid, in good faith and in strict accordance with the DfT's terms.

"Our bid would have delivered a better deal for West Coast passengers, the taxpayer and an appropriate return for shareholders."

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