Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, responding to the decision today on the contract for Thameslink trains, said:
“After months of delay, commuters will be relieved that Ministers have finally made a decision on the preferred bidder for the new Thameslink trains. The £6bn Thameslink project was begun under the last Labour government and is vital to relieve overcrowding by doubling capacity on this route. The depot construction, component and maintenance jobs that will be created are good news for those parts of the country that will benefit. However, despite this good news, the reality is that these new trains will be manufactured abroad.
“The Tory-led government’s claim to want to support the British manufacturing that is vital for jobs and growth is exposed today as nothing more than a sham. Having already massively scaled back Labour’s planned orders for new trains, thanks to their decision to cut too far and too fast, they have now passed up the opportunity to boost British manufacturing and help secure the jobs and growth the economy needs.
“The Prime Minister’s personal promise to support local manufacturing, made when he held his Cabinet in Derby just three months ago, looks very hollow today. Nothing can disguise the fact that this is a black day for the only company which designs, builds, maintains and exports trains from the UK. The loss of this contract will be devastating to the local work force and supply chain and risks the company’s ability to retain the skills and manufacturing excellence that is essential to winning future contracts and competing with the best in the world."