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.
The true cost of the fiasco over the West Coast Main Line franchise is only just beginning to become clear.
A critical report by MPS has condemned the £50 million cost to the taxpayer caused by the West Coast Mainline fiasco.
Transport Secretary and Derbyshire Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin has told MPs today that mistakes over West Coast should not have been made.