GOOD transport which doesn’t hold up traffic and allows business to flow freely back and forth between companies and clients is vital for economic growth. If we are to grow, then business has to have access to a predictable and reliable railway.
Solihull Chamber is calling on the Government to ensure continuity of services following the decision to scrap the award of the multi-billion pound West Coast Main Line (WCML) rail franchise to FirstGroup.
Staff at the Department for Transport (DfT) have been blamed for ‘mistakes’ after FirstGroup beat current operator Virgin Trains to win the 13-year franchise after a 15-month bidding process.
The Department, which said several staff had been suspended, will now re-run the process. This shambles can hardly give us much confidence.
While it beggars belief that such mistakes can happen, we cannot accept a single cancellation or even a delay as a result of the cancellation of the new franchise. It is important that these processes are put right as this level of confusion is unacceptable for passengers and train operating companies.
It’s imperative that the DfT now identifies what has gone wrong and corrects these issues. The WCML is the busiest railway in Britain and is the backbone of our economy. Millions of goods and people move along it on a daily basis so the mistakes must be corrected as quickly as possible.