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Railhub Archive
2012-08-23 TCO-001
House of Commons Transport Committee


West Coast rail franchise

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House of Commons Transport Committee

West Coast rail franchise

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23 August 2012
source House of Commons Transport Committee
type Letter

Transport Committee
House of Commons
7 Millbank
London SW1P 3JA

Tel 020 7219 6263
Fax 020 7219 0909


From Mrs Louise Ellman MP, Chair

Rt Hon Justine Greening MP
Secretary of State for Transport
Great Minister House [[Great Minster House]]
33 Horseferry Road

23 August 2012

Dear Justine,

The announcement by Theresa Villiers on 15 August to award the West Coast rail
franchise to First West Coast Ltd has, as you will be aware, generated a great deal of
public interest and some concern. It also raises important issues about the basis on
which decisions on major rail franchises are made.

As this has taken place during the Parliamentary recess, the Transport Committee has
not had an opportunity to consider the matter. I intend to raise it with Committee
Members at our first meeting on 4 September and to propose that the Committee
explore these issues as soon as possible, provisionally at a public oral evidence session
to be arranged for Tuesday 11th September. I expect that some Members will want to
ask you about the West Coast franchise when you give oral evidence to us on the
work of your Department on the following day.

I understand that the final West Coast franchise documents are due to be signed by
the Government on 28 August. I would ask you to consider delaying this for a short
while to allow the Transport Committee to explore the matter first. I believe this
would help to provide greater transparency and address the concerns that have been

Louise Ellman MP
Chair of the Committee
020 7219 1252

cc Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Tony Collins, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Rail Group,
Tim O’Toole, Chief Executive, First Group

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