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Taxpayers' £50m West Coast bill

Taxpayers will face a "significant" bill of around £50m over the West Coast rail franchise fiasco, the Government's spending watchdog has warned.

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FirstGroup: 'We have every confidence in the DfT's process

We understand that Virgin Rail Ltd a subsidiary of Virgin Rail Group, a the joint venture between Virgin Group and Stagecoach Group plc, has brought a legal challenge against the Department for Transport in relation to the recent award of the InterCity West Coast rail franchise to FirstGroup.

We have every confidence in the DfT’s process which is rigorous, detailed and fair and in which bids are thoroughly tested. There has been no complaint about the process, which was carefully described in advance, until Virgin Rail Group had lost commercially.

Our focus is to ensure a smooth transition with continuity for staff and passengers alike. We want to get on with delivering the many benefits and improvements we are offering without delay or disruption.

We will continue to prepare for a successful start up of the new franchise on 9 December 2012.

– FirstGroup

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