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Labour calls for delay over West Coast Mainline franchise

Labour is urging ministers to delay signing a new West Coast Mainline contract until Parliament returns.

The party says MPs must have the chance to consider the decision to take the franchise from Virgin Trains and give it to FirstGroup for the next 13 years.

The Department for Transport said it had "no reason" to delay the signing.

A spokesman indicated that the agreement was set to be signed on Tuesday despite Virgin's Sir Richard Branson offering on Sunday to run the service "for free" while a review was carried out.

Ross Hawkins reports.

  • 27 Aug 2012
  • From the section UK
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