West Coast Main Line – A “terrible mistake”

The Department for Transport ministers are in a catastrophe after making a “terrible mistake” in the calculations to who should be awarded the West Coast Main Line rail franchise. The cost to the taxpayer could now exceed over £100m and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin promised to refund the estimated £40m cost of the bidding process to all the companies involved and has launched an inquiry to find out what exactly has gone wrong.

Do we have the right ministers in the Cabinet Office? This scandal makes us think twice. If we had a strong treasury full of reliable ministers to keep things in track, then things like this will not happen. Of course, mistakes are inevitable but this is a massive disaster which could take a long time to sort out.

Former Transport Secretary Justine Greening has said she did not know anything about the error. Now as International Development Secretary, she cannot get away from this that easily. As the bidding process was ongoing whilst she was Transport Secretary before David Cameron’s Cabinet reshuffle last month, she has now got to prove that there was nothing wrong with her policy and she should not take the blame for this calamity.

Although, Greening should have had some sort of an idea of what was happening with the sums having worked as an accountant before entering politics. However, Minister of State for Transport at the time Theresa Villiers had no relevant experience before going into politics. So who is to blame? I do question if Cameron ever looks at minister’s CV’s before giving them a job.

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