Perth-based transport giant Stagecoach has urged the Government to move on from the West Coast Main Line fiasco and restart other rail franchise competitions as a matter of priority.

The group reported a 39% rise in first-half pre-tax profit to £123.7 million. Finance director Martin Griffiths, who will replace Sir Brian Souter as chief executive next year, said the Department for Transport should continue the franchising process, with 15 contracts due to expire over the next six years.

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