The government’s rail franchising policy was thrown into disarray after it cancelled the award of a new contract to run the West Coast mainline following discoveries of “technical flaws” in the process.
There are three logical observations that follows.
The first is that the only logical thing to do now is to nationalise this service. That is where such services belong - under public ownership.
The second is to regret the costs that will not be paid to Branson and maybe First Group.
The third is to realise that having an enquiry into what what went wrong with the tendering is to ask the wrong question: the question now is why the government is continuing with a process of rail franchising which creates local monopolies, no real competition (only opportunity for regulatory abuse), and a disjointed public service which benefits almost no one.
To put it another way: isn't it time to say game over for rail privatisation?