Lancashire TelegraphVirgin to run West Coast Mainline (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Virgin to run West Coast Mainline

EAST LANCASHIRE politicians have welcomed the government asking Virgin Trains to continue running services on the West Coast Mainline for at least nine months.

The move follows the fiasco over the award of the route franchise to FirstGroup, which had to be scrapped after a legal challenge exposed flaws in the process. In a Stock Exchange announcement ministers said they will hold talks with Virgin for a ‘temporary’ contract before a new competition.

Pendle peer Tony Greaves, Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle and his Ribble Valley counterpart Nigel Evans have all backed the move. Liberal Democrat Lord Greaves said: “It is a sensible move. Virgin are running a good service.”

Comments (2)

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3:42pm Tue 16 Oct 12

Noiticer says...

As the final franchisee is unlikely,now, to be in place until 2016 why doesn't the Labour Party simply say it will look to change the franchising system completely to one involving not for profit concessions or some form of nationalisation free of control by the DfT if elected to power in 2015? This would then leave prospective franchisees knowing an application to run the WCML in 2016 will be pointless thus undermining the whole privatisation fiasco.
As the final franchisee is unlikely,now, to be in place until 2016 why doesn't the Labour Party simply say it will look to change the franchising system completely to one involving not for profit concessions or some form of nationalisation free of control by the DfT if elected to power in 2015? This would then leave prospective franchisees knowing an application to run the WCML in 2016 will be pointless thus undermining the whole privatisation fiasco. Noiticer
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Tue 16 Oct 12

Is Eckersley playing? says...

I cannot believe the Government was considering dropping Virgin. The Euston-Lancs service is brilliant. 2 hours 40 mins from London to Preston. Clean trains, bang on time, quiet compartment if required. Polite staff. Thoroughly recommend it - why change a good thing. Branson knows what he's doing. Would have served the government right if he'd said, "Stuffit. You picked First trains you can live with them. I'm pulling out". Who would have run them then?
I cannot believe the Government was considering dropping Virgin. The Euston-Lancs service is brilliant. 2 hours 40 mins from London to Preston. Clean trains, bang on time, quiet compartment if required. Polite staff. Thoroughly recommend it - why change a good thing. Branson knows what he's doing. Would have served the government right if he'd said, "Stuffit. You picked First trains you can live with them. I'm pulling out". Who would have run them then? Is Eckersley playing?
  • Score: 0

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