After the decision to award the UK’s multi-billion-pound West Coast Main Line rail franchise to FirstGroup was cancelled by the government, customers claimed that it now knows how its customers feel while waiting for one of their trains.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin cancelled the deal before standing outside FirstGroup’s head office and using a megaphone to issue an apology for any inconvenience it may have caused.
“This is completely unacceptable,” said a FirstGroup spokesperson.
“To pay for something only to find that it has been cancelled with just a few minutes notice is infuriating.”
“What’s even more frustrating is that there’s no-one around to tell us what’s going on.”
“Three minutes ago everything looked like everything was still on schedule, but now this screen is telling me it’s cancelled. A little more notice would have been nice.
Rail tender cancelled
Mr McLoughlin responded to FirstGroup’s anger and frustration by shrugging his shoulders and walking off saying it was “completely outside of his control”.
“We’re looking at alternative franchises for them, on which their tender will remain valid,” said McLoughlin.
“Sure, owning a subway franchise in Slough is not quite the same as the one they thought they were buying, but then neither is a bus ticket from Stoke to London when you bought a train ticket from Manchester.”