The British government has scrapped its decision to award the UK's multi-billion pound West Coast Main Line rail franchise to FirstGroup after saying there were 'significant technical flaws' in the bidding process.

An internal investigation unearthed major problems in the way the bids were analysed.

Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said it was 'deeply regrettable' that mistakes within the department of transport over the tendering process were made. Several staff have been suspended.

McLoughlin also added that the estimated costs of reimbursing the companies for the cost of the bids would be around £40m.

The government u-turn comes after FirstGroup was awarded a 13 year deal on the West Coast franchise ahead of Virgin, who have been running the line since 1997.

Virgin founder, Richard Branson, welcomed the move, adding that he was hopeful ministers would see that Virgin trains should continue to run the line. FirstGroup stated that they are disappointed by the decision.

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner.