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Preston Lib Dem Cllr criticises West Coast Main Line franchise fiasco

Posted on - 28th February, 2013 - 9:30pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, News, Redevelopment
A Virgin Train Class 390 Pendolino on the west coast main line (c)Ingy the Wingy on Flickr

A Virgin Train Class 390 Pendolino on the west coast main line (c)Ingy the Wingy on Flickr

West Coast Main Line franchise fiasco affects Development in Preston.

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The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee warned that the West Coast Main Line franchise ‘mess up’ is likely to cost taxpayers at least £50m.

Margaret Hodge, chair of the committee, said the cost to the taxpayer of the aborted competition would be very much larger than the £50m so far admitted by the government. Hodge said: “The franchising process was littered with basic errors. The department yet again failed to learn from previous disasters, like the Metronet contract. It failed to heed advice from its lawyers. Cuts in staffing and in consultancy budgets contributed to a lack of key skills.”

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Preston West Bill Winlow commenting on the governments ‘error’ recently said: ‘It will also have effects in Preston, because all plans to refurbish Preston station and to improve links with bus services are now on hold.

All these changes should have been integrated with the Fishergate upgrade rather than having to wait while the Department for Transport sorts out the mess that it alone has caused us.’

When everything is added together here and elsewhere, the final cost will be far more than £50m.’

Sunderland born Winlow was elected to Lancashire County Council in 2009 to represent Preston West, which consists of Ingol, Tanterton, Lea, Lea Town and Cottam.

The Blog reported on the upgrade to Fishergate and surrounding areas in posts that can be found here and here

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