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First Great Western deal under fire

The rail union the RMT has claimed today that the government's First Great Western deal will cost taxpayers almost £250 million.

The union says the extension for the West Coast mainline will only have around £30 million paid in premiums.

Premiums on the last 2 years of the previous contract came to £279 million, meaning the public could miss out on a quarter of a billion under the current deal.

First Great Western train Credit: ITV News West Country

First Great Western has west rail franchise extended

First Great Western has had the South West rail franchise extended Credit: PA

FirstGroup's First Great Western train company will keep the franchise to operate trains from London to the South West for another two years.

The Department for Transport said it would last until September 2015.

Under the agreement, passengers will expect to see improvements to services including greater seating and sleeper carriage capacity and an improved wi-fi coverage.

Train company's contract expected to be extended

It's expected that train passengers in the region will hear tomorrow that First Great Western's contract has been extended for a further two years.

The Government has been forced to extend it after the last round of franchise negotiations collapsed in chaos.

But there are worries that services may be reduced, and there'll be further delays to much needed investment.

John Andrews reports:

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West Country (E)

Full report: Train company apologises after six hour train delay

First Great Western has apologised after hundreds of passengers travelling from the West Country to Paddington were stranded for hours on a train. An inquiry's started into why it took so long to repair the fault near Pewsey.

There were 500 people on board. Today some complained they were left without food or water. Bob Constantine reports.

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