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West Coast mainline fiasco to cost 'at least £50m'
9:38am Thursday 28th February 2013 in News
WESTMINSTER’s main financial watchdog has slammed the government for a “complete lack of common sense” over the West Coast Main Line franchise fiasco which will cost taxpayers “at least £50million”.
The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee’s report on the affair, which saw the contract awarded to First Group and then returned to Virgin after “serious flaws” were found in the tendering process, is scathing about the Department of Transport’s conduct.The route serves 31 million passengers linking at Preston with the line serving Blackburn, Clitheroe, Burnley, Nelson and Colne.
Margaret Hodge, who chairs the all-party committee of MPs, said: “The Department for Transport’s complete lack of common sense in the way it ran the West Coast franchise competition has landed the taxpayer with a bill of £50 million at the very least.
“The franchising process was littered with basic errors.”
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