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Page last updated at 08:41 GMT, Monday, 27 August 2012 09:41 UK

Branson: PM should intervene on West Coast franchise

Sir Richard Branson has called on David Cameron to intervene in the row over the new West Coast Mainline franchise which has been awarded to FirstGroup.

The Virgin Group boss told Today presenter Evan Davis that "I think that the person that can really intervene to try to get some sense into the Department for Transport is the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister is currently on holiday, the Chancellor is on holiday and we would like things delayed by a month or so."

"If, as a result of that, it means that the handover is delayed we would obviously be very happy to run it on a not for profit basis."

FirstGroup says it will bring in key improvements for passengers but critics fear it will not be able to afford the £5.5bn it is paying for the franchise. More than 100,000 members of the public have also signed an online petition against the decision.

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