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High Speed 2: MP wants review after West Coast Main Line errors
MP CHERYL Gillan has called for an immediate review of High Speed 2's business case after the Government scrapped the multi-billion-pound West Coast Main Line rail deal.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin admitted The Department for Transport has made errors over the franchise to First Group, in what commentators have described as an astonishing development.
Two reviews have been ordered and Mr McLoughlin said the mistakes are estimated to cost £40m.
He said it was entirely the fault of the DfT, not First Group.
Amersham and Chesham MP Cheryl Gillan, recently sacked as a Cabinet Minister, has leapt on the news to ask Ministers to go back to the drawing board on HS2.
She wrote on Twitter this morning: “Am asking DfT for immediate review of hs2 business case in the light of significant technical flaws in wcml franchise competition.”
Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, who had taken legal action over the decision to award the franchise to the rival firm, wrote on his blog that he hoped his company could now continue running trains on the line.
Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, has also demanded a review.
He said: "We have always argued that the consultation and decision making process on HS2 was deeply flawed."
Cllr Tett, who is Chairman of the 51m Alliance of 18 local authorities opposed to HS2, said: "The Government has now admitted that there are fundamental problems within the Department for Transport in the way it evaluates projects and makes decisions.
"We want to know if the same people who have been suspended were involved in the decisions on HS2.
"Supporters of HS2 have often criticised us for our stand, and for taking legal action. What this revelation on the West Coast Mainline franchise shows is that we have been absolutely right. These current admissions of incompetence would not have come to light without Richard Branson's legal challenge. We expect similar revelations as a result of our challenge on HS2."