– Statement from FirstGroup
"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."
The competition to run trains on the West Coast Mainline has been cancelled following the discovery of significant technical flaws in the way the franchise process was conducted, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced today.