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West Coast fiasco costs £50m

The latest reports on the mishandling of the West Coast Main Line competition has found the Department for Transport guilty of 'basic errors', expected to cost the taxpayer at least £50 million.

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'Basic errors' in West Coast Main Line bidding process

MPs have called for the Department for Transport to "get its house in order" after uncovering "basic errors" in the way it run the West Coast franchise competition.

The department was forced to reverse its decision to award the £5 billion franchise to FirstGroup last October after a legal challenge from rival bidder Virgin Group.

The latest report by the Public Accounts Committee finds that managers had no oversight in the bidding process and failed to respond to early warning signs that things were going wrong.

Committee chair Margaret Hodge said the competition would cost the taxpayer £50 million "at the very least".

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