1. Central

Virgin runs West Coast to 2017

The West Coast Mainline will be run by Virgin Trains until at least 2017, it's been announced.

View all 108 updates ›

Dept for Transport scraps bidding competition for Great Western rail services

Credit: ITV News Central

The Department for Transport today scrapped the bidding competition for a 15-year franchise to run Great Western rail services – one of three to be suspended last October in the wake of the fiasco over the flawed award of the West Coast Main Line contract.

But Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced that the two other competitions – for Essex Thameside and Thameslink, Southern & Great Northern – will be resumed, in a bid to breathe new life into a franchising system which was thrown into disarray by the West Coast debacle.

Unions accused Mr McLoughlin of taking a "sticking plaster" approach to a privatised system which should now be ditched.

More on this story