Russell Brown MP, has described the admission of flaws in the West Coast Mainline bidding process as "an utter shambles".Read the full story ›
"We welcome today's frank announcement by the Secretary of State, acknowledging the flaws in the way the InterCity West Coast competition was assessed and launching a review into franchising more widely.
"We are ready to play a full part in assisting the review to help deliver a franchising system that better serves passengers, taxpayers and the interests of all bidders.
In the meantime, we will assist the Department for Transport in ensuring continuity of service for the millions of customers who depend on train services on the West Coast mainline."
"We were notified late last night that the Department for Transport has apparently discovered significant technical flaws in the way its franchise process for the InterCity West Coast was conducted and has consequently cancelled the competition for this franchise.
"Until this point we had absolutely no indication that there were any issues with the franchise letting process and had received assurances from the DfT that its processes were robust and that it expected to sign the contract with FirstGroup soon. We are extremely disappointed to learn this news."
Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown said it was "not acceptable" for the UK Government not to tell ministers north of the border it was rerunning the competition to operate the West Coast Main Line.
He added that the U-turn by the Department for Transport "leaves so much up in the air".
"I have had to cancel the competition for the running of the West Coast franchise because of deeply regrettable and completely unacceptable mistakes made by my department in the way it managed the process.
A detailed examination by my officials into what happened has revealed these flaws and means it is no longer possible to award a new franchise on the basis of the competition that was held.
Passengers can rest assured that while we seek urgently to resolve the future arrangements the trains that run now will continue to run, with the same drivers, the same staff and timetables as planned."
Cumbrian MP, Tim Farron, has spoken out over the decision to rerun the competition to operate the West Coast Main Line.
The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP said "people must be held accountable" for the errors.
FirstGroup was due to take over the franchise from Virgin in December.
The competition to operate the West Coast Main Line has been cancelled after flaws were discovered in the bidding process.Read the full story ›
The competition to run trains on the West Coast Main Line has been cancelled following the discovery of significant technical flaws in the way the franchise process was conducted, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced.
The decision means the Department for Transport (DfT) will no longer be awarding a franchise contract to run the West Coast service when the current franchise expires in December.
FirstGroup was due to take over the running of the London to Scotland line after being awarded the contract by the DfT in August, but Virgin Rail, which currently runs the service, launched a High Court challenge against the decision
Legal action by Virgin Rail has stopped the Government signing a contract awarding the West Coast Mainline franchise, which runs through Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway, to a rival bidder.
MPs were told by the Rail Minister, the Government would "robustly" defend the case following the decision to award the contract to FirstGroup.
Theresa Villiers told MPs in a written statement "As a result of a legal challenge, which the Government intends to defend robustly, we have not yet signed the contract with First West Coast, and consequently the competition remains live"
The rail line in West Cumbria that was blocked after a train derailment has been re-opened. The accident happened when bad weather caused a landslide on the Cumbrian coastal line, close to Nethertown station. There is a speed restriction around the area, which could cause minor delays.