The government have scrapped their decision to award the West Coast Main Line rail franchise to FirstGroup after contractual flaws were discovered.

Mistakes made by the Department of Transport will cost an estimated £40 million in reimbursements to companies who entered into the bidding process. Members of staff involved have also been suspended pending an investigation.

FirstGroup have announced they are disappointed. Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson has welcomed the move and is hopeful that the franchise would continue to remain with Virgin.

15 other rail franchises were due to be decided on before the next general election, these have now been halted.

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