Virgin loses West Coast train line franchise

The train operator, FirstGroup is set to take over control of the West Coast main line on December 9th 2012, following a failed attempted by Virgin to retain control of the franchise. Virgin has been providing services for individuals on this train line for 15 years.

FirstGroup’ proposal has proved to be more attractive to the government as the provider has laid out plans to increase the number of services between Birmingham and Glasgow as well as introducing tilting trains which will increase capacity on the line by about 28,000 seats a day. The group believe that their involvement will deliver value for money for the taxpayer and provider higher premium payments for the government through increased passenger numbers. It is the massive promise of increased premium payments that experts believe to be the main factor for Virgins failure to secure the franchise. Sir Richard Branson has said that he is disappointed to be loosing this opportunity but believed that they could not increase the amount of money promised to the government in the form of premium payments without passing on this cost to passengers, which Virgin was not prepared to do. He believes that FirstGroup have put forward an ‘unrealistic’ bid. The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.  Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with lawyers based across the country, including Solicitors in Birmingham.