Train and bus company Stagecoach Group said it and partners SNCF and Virgin had commenced legal action against the UK Department for Transport in connection with the procurement of the West Coast Partnership franchise. The company said a claim had been issued at the High Court together with a judicial review claim. It alleged that the government department breached its statutory duties under relevant regulations and principles of EU and English law. The claim had been brought by West Coast Trains Partnership, in which Stagecoach had a 50% share, with SNCF holding 30% and Virgin 20%. It followed a a decision by the department in April to disqualify Stagecoach and its partners from the East Midlands, West Coast Partnership and South Eastern franchise competitions. 'We believe the rail system should be about appointing the best operator for customers, not about passing unquantifiable, unmanageable and inappropriate risk to train companies,' chief executive Martin Griffiths said. "It is disappointing that we have had to resort to court action to find out the truth around the DfT's decision-making process in each of these competitions.'
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