Thursday, 2 February 2017

Bombardier v Merseyrail

Derby's Bombardier launches legal challenge over Merseyrail deal

Bombardier's Litchurch Lane site in Derby missed out on the Merseyrail contract last month.

Derby train-maker Bombardier has launched a legal challenge to a decision to award a £460 million deal to a rival firm.
Last month, the Litchurch Lane compnay missed out on the Merseyrail contract to Stadler, after the Swiss firm was named as the preferred bidder following a meeting of the Merseytravel committee and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
The deal would have seen Bombardier replace Merseyrail's existing train fleet, which it has operated for nearly 40 years. The deal, which was for 52 new trains, also included decades of upkeep at modernised maintenance depots in the Liverpool area.
But now the Litchurch Lane firm has lodged an appeal against the decision to award the work to Stadler - and the matter could be challenged in the High Court. Merseytravel has confirmed the legal challenge from Bombardier, but bosses said they were confident of being able to "robustly defend" any action that is brought.
It is understood that Bombardier's action alleges irregularities in the procurement, particularly around the risk assessments for the bids. A spokesman for Merseytravel said: "We can confirm that Bombardier has issued a legal challenge with the High Court in relation to Merseytravel's decision to award the contract for a fleet of new trains to Stadler.


Merseyrail issued this artist's impression of its new trains when it named Stadler as the preferred bidder to replace its fleet.

"We are confident that we can robustly defend this challenge. However, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this stage because the process is subject to ongoing legal proceedings. We are hopeful that the matter can be resolved quickly so we can get on and deliver this exciting project."
Bombardier had been one of five train manufacturers in the running for the Merseyrail contract. The contract was put out to tender in 2015 by Merseytravel - the passenger transport executive responsible for the co-ordination of public transport in the Liverpool city region. This includes rail, bus and ferry services.It is understood that Bombardier put forward a variant of the Aventra train that it is supplying for the Elizabeth Line (formerly Crossrail), London Overground's West Anglia routes and the new East Anglia franchise. With production of the Elizabeth Line trains due to end in 2018, the Liverpool contract would have further strengthened the future prospects of the Derby site.