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Fallout continues over West Coast franchise

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.

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Sir Richard Branson reacts to DfT's decision

"I took a call this evening in New York from the UK Secretary of State for Transport, telling me that he will no longer be awarding the West Coast Main Line franchise to FirstGroup.

"From the moment we found out that FirstGroup had been made the preferred bidder with a completely unrealistic bid, we questioned the way the offers had been assessed.

"I am pleased to say that the DfT has looked at all of the facts and found significant flaws in the way it's officials handled the process.

"They have basically acknowledged that what we had been saying is correct."

– Sir Richard Branson, Virgin

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