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Virgin West Coast franchise award

19 June 2014

Virgin Trains have received a 'direct award' to continue running the West Coast routes for two further years. This process denied any opportunity for other operators to bid, making a mockery of Ministers' claim that competition is a necessity.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, said: "Virgin is being rewarded for failure on the West Coast line. We have seen fares rise by 245% on this route since privatisation and overcrowding on routes into London despite taxpayers paying £9 billion to upgrade the line.

"Ministers continue to ignore the lesson that publicly owned East Coast has returned far more cash to the Treasury in the past five years than Virgin, further evidence that publicly owned franchises provide better value to both taxpayers and passengers."

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