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Future of the British Train Building Industry

Volume 531: debated on Monday 18 July 2011

Mr Speaker, you will probably be aware from press reports that the British train building industry hangs in the balance because of a Government proposal to build trains in Germany for the Thameslink rolling stock programme, rather than at Bombardier in Derby. Feeling in the city is running extremely high. I have secured more than 50,000 signatures for the petition, calling on the Government to look again at the proposal to award the contract to Siemens in Germany, not least because the Prime Minister visited Derby only three and a half months ago and said that he was committed to rebalancing the economy in favour of the manufacturing industry. The citizens of Derby are hoping that he and the Government will take the same course of action that we saw in 1971 when Rolls-Royce went bust and the Government at the time did the right thing.

The petition states:

The Petition of citizens of the United Kingdom,

Declares that they are concerned about the future of the British train building industry. Their concern is a consequence of the decision to appoint Siemens as the preferred bidder for the new fleet of trains for the Thameslink Programme. The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Transport to reverse this decision.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.