Tees Valley Mayor's anger as Swiss firm is awarded Metro contract

The mayor of Tees Valley has slammed the decision by Tyne and Wear Metro operator Nexus to award the contract to build 42 new trains to Swiss company Stadler.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 3:01 pm
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has slammed Nexus' decision to award the contract to build the new Metro trains to Swiss company Stadler over County Durham based Hitachi

Conservative mayor Ben Houchen has slammed the decision not to award the contract for building new Metro trains to County Durham-based Hitachi, where 250 jobs are at risk.

Nexus today announced that Stadler won the contract as part of a £362m investment which they say: “Will transform performance and passenger experience, deliver huge energy savings and secure and create hundreds of jobs in the UK supply chain.”

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Stadler is also working on new trains for Glasgow and Liverpool. It was chosen by Nexus after an 18-month global search. Delivery for the new trains is scheduled for 2024.

Nexus said: “The company (Stadler) will work with more than 30 new supply chain partners in the UK advanced manufacturing, technology and construction sectors, half of them in North East England, creating and securing hundreds of skilled jobs.”

Stadler will also build and run a £70m new maintenance facility at Metro’s current depot site in Newcastle, as part of the deal. But Mr Houchen is not impressed.

He said: “This is an absolutely disgraceful decision from Nexus.

“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.

“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.

“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.”