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West Coast franchise failures could be repeated - MPs

MPs have warned that failings in the cancelled West Coast Main Line train operating franchise competition could recur and undermine the High Speed 2 and Thameslink franchise competitions.

The Commons public accounts committee said that the Department for Transport (DfT) failed to get basic processes right and failed to learn from mistakes made during the award of the Tube PPP contract to the Metronet consortium.

Its report Department for Transport: Lessons from cancelling the InterCity West Coast franchise competition said the DfT had made several mistakes when deciding the value of parent company guarantees each bidder should secure in support of its bid.

The guarantees are to ensure that the winning bidder is protected against losses and were calculated separately for each bidder.

Costs to the taxpayer of cancelling the west coast franchise competition are expected to exceed £50M.

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