Latest Rail News

29.11.12

West Coast report delayed

Publication of the report into the West Coast fiasco has been delayed, the Department for Transport has announced.

Sam Laidlaw handed in his report on the deal on Wednesday, but transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has decided not to publish his findings immediately. He had previously indicated he would make the report public shortly after its submission.

The Commons Transport Select Committee had planned to question Laidlaw on the report at a hearing next Tuesday.

His inquiry considered the “serious flaws” unearthed in the award process of the West Coast main line franchise to First Group, following a legal challenge by Virgin Trains.

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.”

Louise Ellman MP, who chairs the transport committee, said: “I am concerned about the failure of the Government to produce the report as promised without any notification. Major errors at the department have already been exposed and actions like this will only increase concerns. This is not the way to handle the crisis.”

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