Priti Patel MP challenges Greater Anglia on roll out of new trains
Priti Patel, the Member of Parliament for Witham, has challenged Greater Anglia over reports that the roll out of the new Bombardier trains for suburban services has been delayed until the autumn.
The roll out of Greater Anglia’s new trains commenced last summer and the first of the new Bombardier trains, due to serve stations across the Witham constituency, were expected to enter service later in the Spring, with the full roll out completed by the end of 2020. The Managing Director at Greater Anglia has now advised that the roll out of the Bombardier trains is expected in the late summer/early autumn due to software issues and that the complete roll out across the network may take a further 12 to 18 months.
Priti has challenged Greater Anglia and the Secretary of State for Transport over this delay and called for any financial penalties imposed on Bombardier for its failure to deliver the new trains on time to be passed on to commuters.
Priti said: “I led efforts to secure over £1 billion for these much-needed new trains and I am extremely disappointed that the roll out of the new Bombardier trains, due to serve stations across my constituency, is to be delayed until the autumn. This significant delay is unacceptable and Greater Anglia needs to take urgent action with Bombardier to resolve the outstanding software issues as a matter of priority and to ensure the roll out of these new trains is not delayed any further.
“Commuters across my constituency have been eagerly awaiting the roll out of these new trains and there will be widespread anger and frustration that the service improvements that have been promised are not being delivered on time. I have called on Greater Anglia and the Secretary of State for Transport to challenge Bombardier and impose financial penalties on the manufacturer for the failure to deliver the new trains in line with its contractual obligations.
“Commuters are paying more during the current franchise period to fund this investment and they deserve better value for money for the high fares paid. I have also urged Greater Anglia and the Secretary of State to ensure that any financial penalties recovered from Bombardier are passed onto commuters as refunds or investment in stations and services so they can see their money coming back in the form of real service improvements.”