Latest Rail News

04.12.12

Laidlaw evidence session postponed

The questioning by the transport select committee of Sam Laidlaw, author of a report into the franchising mistakes behind the West Coast contract cancellation, has been delayed.

The committee was due to take evidence from Laidlaw and his colleague Ed Smith today on the report, which was completed last week.

However, the Department for Transport has not yet published the report and has given no indication when it is to do so.

The evidence session has been postponed until December 18.

Louise Ellman MP, transport committee chair said: “I am very disappointed that the Government has delayed publication of Sam Laidlaw’s final report into the collapse of the West Coast Main Line franchise competition. It was expected that the report would be released last week and, as a result, we arranged to hear oral evidence from Mr Laidlaw and his colleague Ed Smith on 4 December.

“Not only has the report not appeared, but the DfT has not had the courtesy to contact us directly about the delay nor explain when this document will be made public. It is regrettable that the DfT should have added to the confusion caused by the abandonment of the West Coast Main Line competition with this episode.

“We have reluctantly decided to postpone the evidence session on the Laidlaw report until Tuesday 18 December at 10am, by which time the Laidlaw report should be in the public domain.”

A DfT spokesman said: “Given the level of detail in the report and the complex legal and commercial issues it covers, it is right that ministers and the department have an opportunity to consider fully its findings before formal publication. However, we fully intend to publish the report and will do so as soon as possible.”

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