TRANSPORT bosses in Staffordshire have demanded the Government honour promises made on West Coast Main Line, despite the news the current deal has been scrapped.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced this week plans to hand the franchise, currently held by Virgin Trains, to FirstGroup had been halted after flaws were found in the bidding process.
Mike Maryon, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport said a high quality rail service was vital to the prosperity of the county.
“We were promised more routes, more seats, more trains and cheaper fares and this must still be the priority for whoever wins the franchise to run the West Coast Main Line,” said Councillor Maryon. “By the Transport Secretary’s own admission this has been something of a fiasco and what we need now is a swift resolution to this matter.”
He said the West Coast line played a key role in connecting Staffordshire to the rest of the country and was crucial to residents and businesses in the area.
“The priority for us is not who operates the route, but the quality of service provided to the residents of Staffordshire and the people visiting and investing in the county,” he said.
Councillor Maryon said he would be seeking assurances from the Department for Transport that “passengers would not be the losers in the new award” and to ask for clarification on when the issue would be resolved.