Derbyshire Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin, who was recently appointed as Secretary of State for Transport, has announced that the decision to award the West Coast mainline franchise to First Group has been cancelled owing to flaws in the way the process was conducted.
It means that the Department of Transport will no longer be awarding the contract for the West Coast mainline service when it expires in December and the competition for the franchise will have to be re-run.
Mr McLoughlin has authorised two independent reviews into the competition process and the Government has said it was “resolving urgently” the future arrangements for the operation of the West Coast Mainline which was due to be handed over to the First Group on December 9. The service is used by many in the High Peak travelling to London from Macclesfield or Stockport.
It is estimated the mistake will cost £40 million, slightly less than half the estimate for restoring the line between Buxton and Matlock.