U-turn on Thameslink contract still possible – Euro MP

Friday August 12th, 2011

Euro MP Brian Simpson said that the controversial Thameslink contract could still be awarded to Bombardier.

The chairman of the European Parliament Transport Committee said that the Coalition is ‘wrongly blaming EU rules’ for the £1.4bn contract going to Siemens.

He said: “I still think they could open it up again. It is only a shut case because they have shut their minds to it. The Government has made a mistake over this decision and hoped after a bit of shouting it would be forgotten, but it is now desperately trying to find excuses. The Government has completely misled Bombardier by not fitting the ­specifications of the contract to what only Bombardier can deliver.

“The difference between the bids amounted to £15,000 a carriage, about £18m in total, which in ­Government terms is peanuts – they’ll be spending more on the extra policing for the riots. Basically, it is going to cost them much more in the long run with redundancy costs, thousands of others in the supply chain being thrown on the dole and the future of train making in Britain in doubt.”

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