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Scrapping of West Coast deal another example of bungled government procurement

Commenting on Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin’s decision to cancel and re-run the competition to run the West Coast Main Line,Cheryl Smart MBE, Chief Executive of Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce said:

“The West Coast Main Line is one of Britain’s most important business corridors, and companies in cities up and down the country will be concerned that this situation could affect both current services and future investment in critical passenger services.

“When this government arrived in office, it promised longer and more stable rail franchises that would deliver value for money and improved services to users and taxpayers. Ministers must now act swiftly to ensure that investment in the railway network, which underpins investment in our cities and towns, does not suffer as a result of their decision to re-run the competition for this crucial franchise.

“More broadly, mistakes in rail franchising are indicative of a bigger problem acrossWhitehall, which has bungled major procurements for years. Procurement mistakes and problems increase risk for companies, threaten jobs, and harmBritain’s reputation as a destination for inward investment.Britain needs procurement professionals across government with the same level of skill and ability as their counterparts in the private sector.”