Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to the National Audit Office report on Thameslink, said:
“It is bad enough that Ministers decided to build the new Thameslink trains in Germany, but staggering that they can’t even be sure they will be delivered on time. The Government has had three years to agree this contract and their failure to do so is now putting at risk the planned 2018 delivery date. It is unbelievable that these delays will require tax-payers to fund additional trains to meet short-term demand on newly electrified routes elsewhere in the country because the old Thameslink trains will not be freed up for use as soon as expected. The criticism that Ministers have failed adequately to staff this vital project suggests that the lessons of the rail franchising fiasco have simply not been learned.
“Coming so soon after its damning verdict on the Government’s handling of HS2, the National Audit Office decision to issue a serious warning about the delivery of yet another vital transport project raises real questions over the competence of Ministers.”<div>