North West Main Line franchise U-turn

There has been an extraordinary twist in the battle for control of the most important rail link in the North West.

The franchise for the West Coast Main Line was awarded to First Group in August - but the government has now cancelled it.

It says there were "significant flaws" in the bidding process because of mistakes by Department of Transport staff.

Three have now been suspended and taxpayers are now facing a bill of at least £40 million.

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Train deal scrapped

The government has scrapped plans to award the West Coast Main Line rail franchise to FirstGroup because of technical flaws. It means the bidding process for the major rail route in the North-West wil be re-opened.