As the report from Sam Laidlaw into the cancellation of the InterCity West Coast franchise competition confirms, we bid entirely in accordance with the Department for Transport's process throughout and the Secretary of State has repeatedly confirmed that FirstGroup is in no way at fault.
It is especially disappointing that passengers and taxpayers will not see the benefits that our successful bid would have delivered.
We maintain that the private sector provides the most effective and efficient way to deliver passenger rail services in the UK.
– First Group spokesman
We now await the outcome of the independent review being carried out by Richard Brown and hope this will provide certainty and confidence in the future of rail franchising.