Goole MP accuses Siemens rivals of 'game playing' over £1.5bn rail contract

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 5 Feb 2019

Goole’s MP has labelled criticism of the awarding of Siemens’ £1.5bn train contract as “game playing” from rival manufacturers.

Andrew Percy, who was also formerly the Northern Powerhouse Minister, leapt to the defence of Siemens after it was accused of planning to build two-thirds of the trains for London’s Piccadilly Line in Europe, instead of its £200m upcoming Goole factory.

He claimed allegations against Siemens were “false,” and added the company had been “totally honest” that half of its trains would be built in Austria as opposed to East Yorkshire.

It comes after a letter was written to London Mayor Sadiq Khan by the MP whose constituency includes rival Hitachi’s train plant, accusing Siemens of “pulling the wool over Transport for London’s eyes.”

Mr Percy wrote in defence of Siemens: “A few residents have contacted me regarding some unfriendly commentary in the press recently regarding the new factory in Goole.

Finbarr Dowling, Project Director at the Siemens rail factory to be built in Goole, shows Andrew Percy MP and the Mayor of Goole, Cllr Richard Walker, around the development site. Hull News & Picture

“These have come from a union and those with an interest in Hitachi who, to put it mildly, are very peeved not to have gotten the Piccadilly Line contract which went to Siemens.

“To be absolutely clear, Siemens has been totally honest from the start that about half the trains would be built in Austria, with the other half planned for the Goole factory.

Read more: Siemens under fire amid claim not all trains in £1.5bn deal will be built in Goole

“Despite this game-playing taking place at the moment, nothing has changed and much of what is reported is just false.”

The letter to London’s Mayor was written by Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson.

In it, he claimed Siemens’ £200m train factory in Goole would not be ready in time to fulfil the Transport for London contract.

The new factory will be at the Goole 36 development, in Tom Pudding Way

He also claimed two-thirds of the trains would be built in Vienna, and bogies in Graz, Austria.

It is not known where this information has come from.

Hitachi also released a statement on the situation.

Watch: Transport Secretary Chris Grayling speaks at Siemens announcement in Goole

A spokesperson said: A Hitachi spokesperson said: “Failings with London Underground’s procurement, which have been challenged in the court by three different manufacturers, mean that Londoners will be paying a higher price for an inferior tube train.

“The train we put forward was to be built in Britain. We believe it offered a more advanced design and better value for money, and would have provided a greater boost to the economy in London and the rest of the UK.

“We continue to pursue our claim for damages against London Underground in the court."

Mr Percy said later this week he would be meeting with Siemens about the site in Goole, and revealed the company had “exciting ideas” for Goole.

“The Piccadilly Line contract is the hook that makes the Goole project viable, but Siemens has always been clear that their plans include other tube upgrades, HS2 etc,” he said.

Siemens was awarded the mega contract last year, but had to fight off a High Court appeal from rivals including Hitachi and Bombardier.

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