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West Coast Main line will stay with Virgin

It's been confirmed that Virgin will continue to operate the West Coast Main line. Their contract has been extended for a further two years and nine months.

The announcement follows on from a two year controversy surrounding who had the rights to operate the line. The governement had awarded it to First Group but "significant technical flaws" in the bidding process meant bidding had to be re-opened.

Mike Hewitson, Head of Policy for Passenger Focus, spoke to ITV's Ian Payne about the deal.



West Coast mistakes lead to questions over East Coast franchise

Condemnation has rained down on the Department for Transport which has admitted it made "completely unacceptable" mistakes over the handling of bidding for the West Coast Mainline franchise.

The Department for Transport admits that its staff made serious mistakes when awarding FirstGroup the franchise ahead of Virgin Trains. Put simply they didn't look properly at the financial risks associated with the bid.

Officials' have been suspended and the Secretary of State for Transport has apologised - as he scrapped the decision to award the contract ot First Group.

It's going to cost taxpayers at least £40million. The debacle has raised serious questions not only about THIS franchise but also those awarded in the recent past to companies operating on the East Coast Main Line.

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