Coalition will not review Siemens Thameslink contract decision

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on September 8, 2011

A decision to select Siemens for the £1.4bn Thameslink train contract, instead of Derbyshire-based Bombardier, won’t be reviewed, the transport secretary has confirmed.

Philip Hammond spoke to a committee of MPs, telling them that 1,400 redundancies of Bombadier staff were incredinly unfortunate. As well as this, he went on to say that delaying the contract would be completely unacceptable. Over the last few days, unions have been urging the coalition government to reverse the decision it made to hand Siemens the work.

Mr Hammond instructed the Transport Select Committee of the government’s desire to see if lessons can be learnt for the development of future contracts. The government said back in June that Siemens’ bid to construct 1,200 train carriages represents the best value, and follows EU procurement rules.

Legal advice previously suggested that making UK employment a condition of any contract would be illegal. While Bombardier continues to lay off its staff, Siemens has revealed that it will need to create 2,000 jobs around the UK as a direct result of winning the rights to construct the Thameslink route that will run between Bedford and Brighton.

Prior to the coalition’s final decision in choosing Siemens, Bombardier announced that 1,200 workers would have to be laid off from October onwards as it adjusted to completing other major contracts. Winning the Thameslink contract, due to get underway in 2014, would have meant that the company could have mitigated job losses and retained all permanent staff.

{ 1 comment }

Clive Roe September 9, 2011 at 10:01 am

One point that needs to be highlighted to everyone who reads/writes these articles is:- who ever had won the Thameslink contract would have created 2,000 jobs in the south anyway, which means if Bombardier had won the contract - as well as retaining all permanent staff at Derby and the supply chain (10,000 to 15,000 jobs) around the country was kept employed - they would have created this extra 2,000 jobs. Compared to Siemens 300 temp’s in Durham and the 2,000 in the south

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