Multi Million Pound Metro Contract Awarded
It has been announced this morning that the contract for a new fleet of Metro trains has been won – but not by a Northern company. The Nexus contract, which has been awarded to Swiss business Stadler, is for 42 new trains, and has a multi-million pound value.
There had been speculation from local businesses that the contract would go to Hitachi, following uncertainty about the job security of its Newton Aycliffe workforce.
Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, claimed that 250 people at Hitachi would lose their jobs as a result of the contract.
“This is an absolutely disgraceful decision from Nexus,” he said. “I’ve been warning people since October that this was going to happen and I said the procurement process should be stopped. Instead, the Labour run Tyne and Wear Councils sat back, did absolutely nothing and denied everything.”
“They have made excuse after excuse as to why they wouldn’t work with a local, world-renowned company right on their doorstep. The result of this is not only Hitachi missing out on a significant contract that would have seen trains for the North-East, built in the North-East, but it has resulted in 250 hard-working, highly skilled local people losing their jobs.”
“To add insult to injury, the Tyne and Wear Councils have awarded the contract to a firm which won’t even build the trains in the UK!”
“It was bad enough that Hitachi had been snubbed and the trains wouldn’t be built in the North-East, but this makes the whole process even more outrageous.”
“The people at Nexus and the Tyne and Wear council leaders must explain their actions to those workers who are out of work as a result of this ridiculous decision. Hitachi is an amazing manufacturing business and I will do everything I can to support this hugely important North-East company and local jobs going forward – as it is clear the Tyne and Wear Councils have no interest in doing so.”
Beth Farhat, regional secretary for Northern TUC, said: “It’s good news for commuters in Tyne and Wear who have long been calling for better Metro infrastructure.
“It’s disappointing that the contract to build the new Metro rolling stock was not awarded to Hitachi at a time of deep uncertainty for their workforce in Newton Aycliffe. If the Government are really serious about investing in the North East I would urge them to get serious about infrastructure investment.“