Siemens set to survive legal challenge for its £1.5bn tube contract

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 5 Nov 2018

Siemens appears to have survived a legal challenge from rivals for its £1.5bn London Underground contract, paving the way for its £200m train factory in Goole.

Earlier this year, Transport for London (TfL) announced it had chosen Siemens ahead of a joint venture consisting of Bombardier and Hitachi, to build almost 100 new tube trains for the Piccadilly Line.

Siemens, which hopes to employ up to 700 people in skilled engineering and manufacturing roles at the new East Yorkshire factory, had an anxious wait when its rivals launched a legal challenge to the High Court against TfL’s awarding of the contract.

However, in the High Court on Friday, it was ruled that London Underground and Siemens could push ahead with the signing of the contract.

Read more: 'Siemen's £1.5bn London Underground train deal has come at exact right time for East Yorkshire'

Goole’s MP, Andrew Percy, welcomed the news on his official Facebook account.

He said on Friday: “Residents may have seen reports this evening that the High Court has lifted the suspension on Transport for London and Siemens signing the new contract for the tube line upgrades, which were an important part of the £160 million train factory investment in Goole.

“This is indeed excellent news, but I can't say much more until full details are made official in the coming days. Not everything that is being reported is substantive but I hope and expect good news in the coming days.

“Rest assured this is very good news, and once confirmed would mean that the contract can be signed and any further challenges would be limited.

“The factory could well be back on track and confirmation will follow in coming days.”

As it stands, Siemens will make, supply and maintain the tube trains needed to replace aging rolling stock on the Piccadilly Line in London.

The contract is part of a TfL programme which also involves replacing rolling stock on the Bakerloo, Central, and Waterloo & City lines, with trains of the same design as those on the Piccadilly Line.

As well as making the Piccadilly Line trains, Siemens would also have options to supply these trains.

Under European rules the award of the Piccadilly Line contract was automatically suspended when Bombardier, Hitachi and fellow unsuccessful applicant Alstom launched legal action.

Read more: Thousands of jobs are coming to Hull thanks to the city's biggest upcoming developments

Lawyers for Bombardier, Hitachi and Alstom said the award of the contract to Siemens would harm their global reputations.

They said the contract was “a once in a generation opportunity” and the award to Siemens created “a risk that employment at UK facilities may be reduced.”

But the judge at the High Court said: “It is likely that alternative opportunities will be found for their employees and facilities in the UK.”

Bombardier, Hitachi and Alstom can still press ahead with complaints about the tendering process - but their claims are not scheduled to be heard in court before January.

In the meantime, Siemens and TfL can sign the contract on November 8, as the new Goole factory moves a step closer.

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