3 further days of strike action on Merseyrail network over driver only operated trains

3 further days of strike action on Merseyrail network over driver only operated trains

3 further days of strike action on Merseyrail network over driver only operated trains

                                       

One of the new driver only operated trains ordered by Merseytravel that has led to the strikes
One of the new driver only operated trains ordered by Merseytravel that has led to the strikes

Talks between the RMT union, LCRCA Mayor Steve Rotheram, Cllr Liam Robinson and Frank Rogers have not averted three days of strike action on the Merseyrail network planned for Friday 1st September, Sunday 3rd September and Monday 4th September.

The dispute is about the introduction of trains in 2020 which will be operated solely by a driver rather than a driver and a guard.

Trains will not be running between Hooton and Ellesmere Port on the three strike days.

Details of the reduced service running to a strike timetable are on Merseyrail’s website. There will be a period of a few hours during the middle of the day when no trains on the Merseyrail network will run.

Merseyrail trains on the following routes that usually stop at stations on the Wirral will not be stopping at the following stations.

New Brighton to Liverpool & Liverpool to New Brighton

Moorfields, Lime Street and Liverpool Central

West Kirby to Liverpool & Liverpool to West Kirby

Bidston*, Manor Road, Birkenhead Park, Conway Park, Moorfields, Lime Street and Liverpool Central

*Arriva Trains Wales trains on the Bidston-Wrexham line will still be stopping at Bidston on strike days.

Chester to Liverpool & Liverpool to Chester

Bache, Bromborough Rake, Capenhurst, Chester, Eastham Rake, Moorfields, Lime Street and Liverpool Central

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What are Merseytravel’s legal fees to defend a legal challenge to the £272 million rolling stock contract?

What are Merseytravel’s legal fees to defend a legal challenge to the £272 million rolling stock contract?

What are Merseytravel’s legal fees to defend a legal challenge to the £272 million rolling stock contract?

                                     

During the 2016-17 audit (which covers the start of April 2016 to the end of March 2017), I requested to inspect various invoices paid by Merseytravel and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and have since picked up copies from their headquarters.

In December 2016, a large rolling stock contract (for new trains) was agreed by councillors on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to be awarded to Stadler Bussnang AG. Stadler Bussnang AG will charge £272,424,952.00 for the new trains.

An unsuccessful bidder (Bombardier) brought a challenge to how the procurement decision had been arrived at and large invoices for legal work from DLA Piper UK LLP have been submitted to Merseytravel’s Rolling Stock Director (David Powell).

The thumbnails of invoices below each link to a higher resolution image for the same invoice.

Invoice 413 from DLA Piper UK LLP (invoice 54833489) dated 31st January 2017 is for £231,124.96. This is for the matter, “Fleet Replacement Project”. This is broken down to “To our fees for professional services” of £187,013.80 + VAT, followed by the following expenses, search fees (£2.00 + VAT), subsistence (£152.68 + VAT), travel (£5,195.65 + VAT) and Vroom Plus (£240 + VAT).

Continue reading “What are Merseytravel’s legal fees to defend a legal challenge to the £272 million rolling stock contract?”