West Coast Mainline failings will cost taxpayer

National Audit Office finds "significant costs".

The total cost will reach up to £48.9m. Photograph: Getty Images

The failure of the West Coast Main Line deal caused a "significant cost to the taxpayer" according to a National Audit Office report.

It said costs for lawyers, advisers, staff, and the two reviews as well as the cost of reimbursing the four firms involved would reach up to £48.9m.

The deal fell through after an original decision to award the frachise to FirstGroup was found to be based on faulty calculations. The decision was reviewed following a legal challenge from Virgin Trains, in a report which brought to light a "damning failure" by the Department for Transport.