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What cancelling the West Coast competition means

  • FirstGroup, who were due to take over the running of the West Coast Main Line in December, will no longer be awarded the franchise.
  • The Department for Transport will no longer contest the judicial review sought by Sir Richard Branson's company Virgin Rail - who currently run the service.
  • Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has ordered two independent reviews into the competition process.
  • An announcement is expected later today about the suspension of government staff while investigations are conducted.
  • The Government has paused all other outstanding franchise competitions.
  • Officials have now been asked to examine the options for the operation of the service after December 9.