Calls to delay West Coast contract signing

Unions, politicians and many rail passengers are calling on the Government to delay the signing of a new franchise for the West Coast main line. Virgin Trains is due to lose the service after FirstGroup made a bid that was more than a billion pounds higher.

Thousands of people have signed a petition opposing the move, but FirstGroup insists its service will provide the best deal for taxpayers and passengers.

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Branson says PM must intervene in West Coast Main Line row

The Virgin boss has offered to effectively run the route for free to allow the decision awarding the 13-year franchise to FirstGroup to be re-examined.