Government refuses to review Bombardier train decision

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Car Rental News - 08/09/2011


The Transport Secretary says the decision to send the work to Germany will not be reviewed.

The government’s highly-controversial decision to award the contract for Thameslink trains to a Germany company, rather than the UK’s Bombardier, will not be reviewed. Philip Hammond told MPs that job losses were regrettable but the decision is final and the contract will not be put to tender again.

Speaking to a committee of MPs, Mr Hammond said the loss of 1,400 jobs at Bombardier’s factory in Derby was ‘regrettable’. However, he added, it would be unacceptable to delay the contract for supply of trains for the Thameslink service.

Unions have been trying to pressure the government to go back on its decision that Siemens is the preferred bidder. Mr Hammond told the Commons Transport Select Committee the government is eager to see if lessons can be learned towards the handling of contracts in the future.

He said the government needs to see how other countries in the European Union do things, how they take socio-economic factors into account whilst avoiding any breaches of EU law. In June, the government announced that the bid from Siemens to produce 1,200 railway carriages offered the greatest value for money.

The government said EU procurement laws prevent the government from using the locations of companies as factors in such decisions. Mr Hammond said legal advice suggests that it would be illegal to make local jobs a condition of any contract.

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