Home Business News Sadiq Khan warns that future contracts are at risk without a long-term capital funding deal for TfL

Sadiq Khan warns that future contracts are at risk without a long-term capital funding deal for TfL

by LLB political Reporter
21st Mar 22 12:04 pm

The Mayor of London today visits the Siemens Mobility facility in Goole, East Yorkshire, where half of the 94 new Piccadilly line tube trains are due to be built, and got an exclusive first look at the final mock-up. The much-needed new trains, which passengers will see on the Piccadilly line from 2025, will improve frequency, reliability and capacity on the line, replacing the previous 1970s-built fleet.

Fifty per cent of the new train fleet will be built in the Siemens Mobility factory in Goole, employing up to 700 people in engineering and manufacturing roles, 250 in construction and 1,700 in the broader supply chain. TfL’s contract has been a key catalyst for Siemens Mobility to progress their multi-million-pound investment in the facility in Goole, creating thousands of UK jobs – a prime example of just how important investment in TfL is to jobs and the UK’s economy as a whole.

While visiting the factory the Mayor will warn that future TfL contracts which support so many jobs at the factory are at risk, without the Government agreeing a long-term capital funding deal with TfL.

TfL’s supply chain stretches around the country and London has a strong relationship with regional suppliers like Siemens Mobility in Goole – with 55p in every pound invested in improving London Underground being spent outside of London.

The Tube has seen a transformation over the last two decades and its continued modernisation forms a key part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy to make London a greener, more affordable, more accessible place.

The state-of-the-art Tube trains will significantly improve the Piccadilly line by boosting its capacity by ten per cent, being greener and more reliable.

Sustainability is at the forefront of the design and they are the greenest train TfL have ever run on the network. 95 per cent of the train materials are reusable and the trains also offer regenerative braking capability, cutting-edge traction systems, LED lighting throughout and advanced energy management. This means energy consumption is reduced by 20 per cent compared with the existing fleet.

The Mayor has ambitions to rapidly expand the order book, not just for new trains, but for new, cleaner buses too, creating more highly skilled manufacturing jobs – but to continue projects like this, TfL needs a sustainable long-term capital funding deal from government. Earlier this month, the Mayor visited Ballymena to highlight jobs at risk making new buses for London in Northern Ireland due to funding uncertainty.

TfL has time limited options built into its contract with Siemens Mobility to build new Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City line trains in the future, with sufficient funding these options could be activated, providing ongoing work for this important Yorkshire manufacturing base and its supply chain. However, under a managed decline scenario, the date for new trains for the Bakerloo and Central line would be pushed back to the late 2030s /early 2040s.

The Mayor has been clear that “levelling up’ the rest of the country cannot mean ‘levelling down’ London by not providing enough funding to its transport network. London’s transport network is the backbone of the city – without it, there can be no London recovery, and without a London recovery, there can be no national recovery.

Already, tough decisions on future projects have had to be made due to the economic impact of the pandemic, including putting the Bakerloo line extension on pause. In a managed decline scenario, the Bakerloo Line Extension along the Old Kent Road towards Lewisham would become undeliverable for at least a decade. The Government must come to the table to work alongside the Mayor and TfL to avoid this situation – leaving the Tube network to decay benefits no one, it leaves passengers in the lurch and risks much needed investment across the country.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Visiting this Yorkshire factory and the state-of-the-art Piccadilly Line trains being built, it is clear how strong London’s relationships with our regional suppliers are – demonstrating just how vital skills and expertise around the country is to London’s success and how investment in TfL is vital to jobs and a UK wide recovery.

“Without sufficient capital investment in TfL, future contracts with regional suppliers are at risk. The best way to secure these highly skilled jobs into the future is for ministers to break the continuous cycle of short-term funding deals handed to TfL which only holds back London and the rest of the country from innovation, jobs and economic growth.

“When London succeeds, the country succeeds and vice versa. This week the Government has the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to levelling up and deliver the capital funding TfL and its supply chain need – without it, both London and the wider country will be held back.”

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