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Greening is quizzed over cost of Thameslink deal

 

Greening is quizzed over cost of Thameslink deal

 

DERBY North MP Chris Williamson has tabled a number of Parliamentary questions about the Government's decision to order Thameslink trains in euros.

Mr Williamson put forward the questions for Transport Secretary Justine Greening to answer, following claims that the cost of the £1.4 billion deal will be greater because of the decline of the euro.

The RMT union claims that the deal could cost taxpayers an extra £140 million because the value of the euro has fallen by 10% since tendering on the contract began.

It believes that the real cost of the deal, for which German firm Siemens was named preferred bidder ahead of Derby train-maker Bombardier, could escalate to £1.54 billion.

Missing out on the Thameslink contract led Bombardier to announce it was shedding 1,400 jobs at its Litchurch Lane factory.

It also launched a full review of its UK operations, with the possibility that it could pull out of train-making in Britain.

But the contract has not yet been signed.

Mr Williamson has now asked the Department for Transport to outline the extent of the risk it might face from fluctuations in the exchange rate on Thameslink.

He said: "If the department is working on a range of potential risks that relate to projected differing exchange rates then can the Secretary of State set out the highest and lowest forecasts used within the models to assess potential risk?

"I want to know what measures the Government has in place to mitigate the financial risk of fluctuations in the exchange rate.

"I also want to know whether this has had an impact on other major rail projects , such as the Intercity Express Programme – another contract that Bombardier lost out on to foreign competition."

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