Government won't be compensating anyone after ditching Great Western bid

31 January 2013

The Government, at the cost of £50m to the taxpayer, pulled the contract for the West Coast Main Line and the Department for Transport have awarded an extension to FirstGroup, who currently run the line.

The failure of the Great Western franchise competition was highly publicised and those who put bids in were furious at the whole debacle. And guess what? Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, has gleefully pointed out that no-one will be getting any compensation from it all.

"In keeping with the relevant invitations to tender, which made clear that bidders are responsible for their own costs, the Secretary of State does not believe it would be appropriate to reimburse bidders," he said in a statement. FirstGroup, National Express, Stagecoach, and Arriva, big companies that incurred costs bidding on the whole thing, will be furious.

First Group, meanwhile, will be running things for the foreseeable future, leaving out-of-pocket bidders and the taxpayer to go whistle. Let us not forget that FirstGroup was announced the winner of the West Coast franchise in August, only to be denied it two months later following the government's discovery of "significant technical flaws" in the way the process was undertook. The fact there's nine major contracts due to expire in 2014, it is fair to say that confidence in the government's ability to deal with it is low.

McLoughlin said: "These plans mark an important step on the way to restarting the franchising programme, and while I am determined this should happen as quickly as possible we do need time to get this right. We have had to take some tough decisions regarding franchising, and while they may provide a challenge in the short term, I believe the lessons we have learnt will help deliver a more robust system in the future benefiting fare-payers and taxpayers alike."

"As always our priority is to ensure these changes will not impact on services or our commitment to improving the railways. Our latest step towards delivering a high-speed rail network which will link many of our major cities by a new fleet of state-of-the-art trains is testament to how we are delivering on that commitment."

Bob Crow, leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: "The day the lid was lifted on the sordid fiasco on the West Coast the Government are at it again, doling out lucrative two-year contract extensions around the country with directly operated railways on hand to sweep up the mess if it all falls apart. The lies, deceit and racketeering of rail privatisation has to be called to a halt now."

TOPICS:   Travel

11 comments

  • dvdj10
    Think you're getting your Main Lines mixed up. The WEST Coast Main Line is currently run by Virgin, this is the one which the £50m in compensation is for. First Group run the Great Western Line currently and they were bidding on this but no winner has been announced due tot he monumental fuck up on the WCML.
  • dvdj10
    "Let us not forget that FirstGroup was announced the winner of the franchise in August, only to be denied it two months later following the government’s discovery of “significant technical flaws” in the way the process was undertook." That again is reference to the WEST COAST Mainline not Great Western. You been copying and pasting from two different articles?
  • Fat H.
    This article is in a worse state than the rail system. A fucking mess!
  • tin
    UNDERTOOK!??
  • shiftynifty
    So we have been tucked up for 50 mill and counting....and we will just roll over again.... as this swerve is so nicely put “As always our priority is to ensure these changes will not impact on services or our commitment to improving the railways. Our latest step towards delivering a high-speed rail network which will link many of our major cities by a new fleet of state-of-the-art trains is testament to how we are delivering on that commitment.” You reap what you sow
  • chewbacca
    Someone should be investigating why WorstGroup are being given all these extensions-Scotrail is yet another franchise given an extension for seemingly no good reason. I wonder whose pockets are being lined by First...
  • Hello
    ***NEWSFLASH*** Mof writes another article for Bitterwallet that shows he doesn't have a fucking clue what he's talking about. How the fuck these people get paid for writing is beyond me.
  • Chewbacca
    @Hello Their parent site doesn't pay any tax, so paying these fucking monkey to write shite costs less than, you know, if they didn't work for tax dodging fuckers...
  • dvdj10
    @chewbacca - the extension's are given to who ever is currently running the line. Which kind of makes sense as they can't award it to any new carrier as the selection process is so royally fucked!
  • Phuck Y.
    They don't get paid, Hello. They're just allowed to live.
  • Sicknote
    @ Chewbacca Who cares which company runs a railway through a load of third world scrubland and sheep? Meh.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment