Union leader says case for awarding Derby’s Bombardier £1.4 billion Thameslink contract “rock solid”
A UNION leader has said that the case for awarding Derby train-maker Bombardier the £1.4 billion Thameslink contract “remains rock solid”.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT union, made his comments as he reacted to a Public Accounts Committee report released today that said the Department for Transport’s handling of the West Coast Main Line franchise deal would cost taxpayers “£50 million at the very least”.
The committee said the DfT showed “a complete lack of common sense” and accused it of making “fundamental errors” and failing to learn from “previous disasters”.
Last year, Transport Secretary and MP for Derbyshire Dales, Patrick McLoughlin, scrapped the deal after flaws were discovered in how the bids were evaluated.
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Mr Crow said that the DfT’s handling of West Coast and its decision in 2011 to award the Thameslink contract to German manufacturer Siemens, instead of Bombardier, showed it could “not be trusted”.
He said: “The stench from the fall out of the West Coast franchise continues to hang over Britain’s transport industry as it becomes clearer with every examination that the ministers responsible for this shambles could not be trusted to run a pitch at a car boot sale let alone multi-billion pound government contracts.
“No wonder the Thameslink/Siemens fleet contract remains unsigned nearly two years on with these jokers at the helm and the case for that work to go to Derby and not Germany remains rock solid.”
A DfT spokesman said the department had taken steps to ensure there could be no repeat of the West Coast failure.