Statement on FirstGroup and West Coast Mainline Franchise

“I would like, first and foremost, to reassure all constituents and users of the West Coast mainline that trains will be unaffected by the cancellation of the FirstGroup contract, and that every step will be taken to make sure that the service passengers receive will continue to be an excellent one. However, today’s news has come as a shock to many. My priority is to ensure that no constituents are adversely affected, and that there now follows a rigorous process of awarding the contract to the best bidder for the job. The government has accepted that there were serious flaws in the process, and Department for Transport staff have been suspended as a result. Responsibility is being taken by the government, and is squarely shouldering the full blame. We have to concentrate now on a solution that best serves passengers and taxpayers, and this is the bottom line. Obviously I will continue to press for the necessary upgrades to Penrith station, regardless of who the franchisee is, and will not rest until we see disabled access to the northbound platform.”

Print Friendly and PDF