The decision by DfT to exclude Stagecoach from 3 Rail franchise bidding competitions will not have been taken lightly.

Stagecoach no doubt considered they were bidding on a reasonable basis bearing in mind their concerns about the pension liabilities they were apparently being asked to take on.

A salutary lesson to all bidders to ensure a full understanding about the contracts they bid for and to only bid on a different basis where variant bids are permitted.