Page last updated at 17:12 GMT, Wednesday, 3 October 2012 18:12 UK

West Coast Main Line statement

Transport Minister Keith Brown tells MSPs he has the assurance of the UK transport minister that services will run to timetable, using the same trains and staff, and that tickets and bookings will be valid.

Mr Brown was giving a ministerial statement on the West Coast Main Line on 4 October 2012, after the UK government's decision to scrap a deal to award the rail franchise to Aberdeen-based FirstGroup.

The UK Department for Transport said there had been mistakes in the awarding of the route and some departmental staff had been suspended and all rail franchising processes put on hold.

Mr Brown said the department's handling of the procurement process had been "incompetent and shambolic" and most importantly, it had caused a great deal of confusion and speculation.

He also said that cancellation at an estimated cost of £40m was a "scandalous waste of public money".

Scottish Labour transport spokesperson Elaine Murray agreed, saying it was a "fiasco of jaw dropping proportions" begging the question how much did David Cameron know before his cabinet reshuffle.

Scottish Conservative transport spokesperson Alex Johnstone accused Mr Brown of "stirring up unjustified concerns about the continuity of the West Coast Mainline as there would be full continuity through and beyond the hiatus" on 9 December when the franchise had been due for handover.

Two reviews have been ordered by the UK government into what happened with the multi-billion-pound West Coast Main Line process and the bid will be re-run.

The estimated cost of the mistakes could be £40m, the UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said.

The picture is unavailable for the first 52 seconds due to a technical issue, the sound is there from the beginning of the transport minister's statement.


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