Crossrail Bombardier hopeSeptember 1st, 2011 by Simon Haddock
The government have announced that they have put back the £1billion bid for supplying 600 carriages to the Crossrail project until early next year.
After a similar contract was awarded to German competitors Siemens, a rethink has been forced as Bombardier face 1400 job losses at its Derby-based plant. Union bosses are still fighting the decision to award the lucrative Thameslink contract overseas.
Campaigners have launched a fierce attack on Transport Secretary Philip Hammond who they insist still has the power to reverse the decision but for the moment this appears a bleak prospect after the government claimed they were “legally bound” to let the work go aboard. Questions have been raised over the EU procurement rules to ensure UK firms are not overlooked for future contracts.
Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle said: “Mr Hammond now has to explain to us why he is able to review the Crossrail contract but not his decision to order Thameslink trains from Germany.
“Both projects were delayed by the Government after the election, so both contracts could have been reviewed.” She added: “Every day the Government’s excuses for failing to stand up for British manufacturing get weaker.”
In early 2012, the new £1bn contract will go out to tender and Bombardier are one of the four shortlisted companies. You can be sure that both unions and campaigners will be keeping a close eye on the events to see whether the UK outfit will be successful.
We would love to hear your thoughts? Have the government made a huge error? Can or should any rules be put in place to stop this happening in the future?