Louise Ellman MP
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'Major errors in West Coast Main Line deal debacle'

Civil servants and ministers made "major errors" in the award of the West Coast Main Line franchise which led to the collapse of the deal, a committee of MPs has found.

The chair of the transport committee Louise Ellman told BBC News that mistakes were made in an attempt to meet a tight deadline and there was a lack of expertise in the Department for Transport.

In October 2012 the government reversed its decision to award the franchise to FirstGroup after complaints about the process were made by Virgin Trains, who ran the existing service.

Virgin will continue to operate the line until November 2014 when a new long-term franchise will begin.

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