Who is to blame for the West Coast mainline debacle?

Richard Wellings talks to BBC Radio 5

Government imposed structures, layers of bureaucracy and human error on the part of civil servants are to blame for the Intercity West Coast franchise competition debacle, Richard Wellings told Radio 5.

Dr. Wellings argued that it would be unfair to blame Patrick McLoughlin, secretary of state for the Department of Transport (DFT), or his predecessor Justine Greening, for the mistake that wrongly gave control of the West Coast mainline service to First Group. This is due to the structure of the department and the complexity of the issue. Meanwhile, the Laidlaw inquiry continues to ascertain why this competition failed and who is to blame for the £100million imposed on the tax payer to fix the problem.

There remains a concern that if the DFT made such a big mistake with this competition, perhaps other rail franchises have been wrongly overlooked before. If so, this would prove an enormous problem for both the government and the taxpayer, Richard Wellings said.

Listen to the interview here. Segment starts at 1:09.50.

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