Welsh Assembly Government awards franchise for Wrexham-Bidston Borderlands line to KeolisAmey Wales

Welsh Assembly Government awards franchise for Wrexham-Bidston Borderlands line to KeolisAmey Wales

Welsh Assembly Government awards franchise for Wrexham-Bidston Borderlands line to KeolisAmey Wales

                                                  

Bidston Train Station (Borderlands Line) 13th August 2016 (John Brace)
Bidston Train Station (Borderlands Line) 13th August 2016 (John Brace)

The Welsh Assembly Government has awarded the Wales and Border franchise (which includes the Bidston to Wrexham Borderlands line) to KeolisAmey Wales.

KeolisAmey Wales will take over from the current franchise holder Arriva Trains Wales on the 14th October 2018. From December 2018 an extra two trains will run on Sunday morning and two extra trains will run on Sunday afternoon between Bidston and Wrexham.
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Councillors call for independent report into Northern Rail timetable changes to be published and RMT union agree to three further days of strike action

Councillors call for independent report into Northern Rail timetable changes to be published and RMT union agree to three further days of strike action

Councillors call for independent report into Northern Rail timetable changes to be published and RMT union agree to three further days of strike action

                                        

Northern Rail train Chester 9th June 2018
Northern Rail train Chester 9th June 2018

Councillors on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Transport Committee last Thursday afternoon agreed an urgent motion proposed by the Lead Member for Rail and Freight (Cllr Gordon Friel) which you can watch below.
Continue reading “Councillors call for independent report into Northern Rail timetable changes to be published and RMT union agree to three further days of strike action”

What’s in 143 pages of the contract between Merseytravel and Stadler Bussnang AG for new trains that caused the strike?

What’s in 143 pages of the contract between Merseytravel and Stadler Bussnang AG for new trains that caused the strike?

What’s in 143 pages of the contract between Merseytravel and Stadler Bussnang AG for new trains that caused the strike?

                                               

1 Letter from Merseytravel to John Brace 18th August 2017
1 Letter from Merseytravel to John Brace 18th August 2017

This continues from Monday’s blog post What’s in 138 pages of the contract between Merseytravel and Stadler Bussnang AG for new trains that caused the strike?

Today is another day of strike action this week on the Merseyrail network.

The strike action stems from a contract for new rolling stock agreed by politicians in December 2016 and signed in February 2017.

Although I published half of what I was given of this contract on Monday, some of it has been withheld on grounds of commercial confidentiality.

Of particular interest at page 299 onwards is the variation procedure (Merseytravel could vary the contract to have the doors operated by the guards if they wished to). On Wednesday the RMT Union published a letter sent by Merseyrail to guards suggesting that they retrain as drivers.
Continue reading “What’s in 143 pages of the contract between Merseytravel and Stadler Bussnang AG for new trains that caused the strike?”

What’s in 138 pages of the contract between Merseytravel and Stadler Bussnang AG for new trains that caused the strike?

What’s in 138 pages of the contract between Merseytravel and Stadler Bussnang AG for new trains that caused the strike?

What’s in 138 pages of the contract between Merseytravel and Stadler Bussnang AG for new trains that caused the strike?

                                               

1 Letter from Merseytravel to John Brace 18th August 2017
1 Letter from Merseytravel to John Brace 18th August 2017

As detailed on this blog in the stories Why are there 3 further days of strike action on the Merseyrail network this month? and What did Cllr Gordon Friel answer when asked about guards and the Merseyrail strike? today is one of three days of strike action this week on the Merseyrail network.

The strike action stems from a contract for new rolling stock agreed by politicians in December 2016 and signed in February 2017.

I requested a copy of this contract once the 16-17 financial year had ended during the 30 working day inspection period. Unfortunately Merseytravel both supplied it late outside the 30 working day inspection period and insisted that various parts of it should be withheld on grounds of commercial confidentiality.

I had requested it be supplied electronically as they had done the year before with various contracts and invoices including the contract with Merseyrail. This request was denied and it was supplied in paper form.

Roughly the first half of what I was sent is below (as I’ve just got around to having the time to scan it in). Some is blacked out and the entire specification is withheld on grounds of commercial confidentiality (something I have disputed with Merseytravel to no avail).

Hopefully it’ll help with the ongoing public debate about the new trains.

Merseytravel and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority have a legal duty to make environmental information (such as this contract) available to the public by electronic means.

Continue reading “What’s in 138 pages of the contract between Merseytravel and Stadler Bussnang AG for new trains that caused the strike?”

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?”

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