Wednesday, 3 October 2012

West Coast main line rethink

The Guardian account has the sub-head: "Transport secretary announces competition has been cancelled following discovery of flaws in franchise process". The smart response to this is that people were pointing out the flaws both in John Major's original scheme and Labour's rejigging a long time ago.

I don't believe that "civil servants can't do sums" is the whole story. It looks as if politics, both at the political level and within the Department, influenced both the original award to First Group and its reversal. There will surely be developments. It's a pity that the story broke too late for this week's "Private Eye".

Meanwhile, government has decided that the taxpayer will reimburse all the original bidders (not just First and Virgin) for their costs, some tens of millions of pounds in total.

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