A Tory MP from Yorkshire argued that more investment in Transport for London was vital for manufacturing jobs in the rest of the UK. It comes as Sadiq Khan today (March 21) visited a tube-making factory in Goole, East Yorkshire.
The mayor used the visit to warn that future TfL contracts are at risk, without the government agreeing to a long-term funding deal with TfL. Half of the Piccadilly line’s 94 new metro trains are expected to be built at Siemens’ Goole factory, with the new trains in use on the line from 2025.
TfL hopes they will improve the frequency, reliability and capacity of the line, replacing the old fleet built in the 1970s. The Goole site employs nearly 700 people in engineering and manufacturing roles, 250 in construction and 1,700 in the wider supply chain. The town hall says its contract has been a “key catalyst” for the expansion of Siemens Mobility, as “an excellent example of the importance of investment in TfL for jobs and the economy of the United Kingdom in its together”.
READ MORE: London transport still heading for ‘managed decline’ with hundreds of bus routes and tube services reduced
TfL’s supply chain stretches across the country, with 55p for every pound invested in London Underground improvements spent outside London, according to the Mayor’s Office. Mr Khan wants to quickly expand TfL’s order book for new trains as well as new, cleaner buses, creating jobs in the manufacturing sector. But he warns that TfL needs a “long-term sustainable funding agreement” from the government for the capital investment.
TfL wants Siemens to build new trains on the Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City lines in the future, but says it does not have the funding. TfL is currently forecasting a “managed decline” scenario, with the date of new trains for the Bakerloo and Central line being pushed back to the late 2030s. Part of the fleet is half a century old.
Tory MP Andrew Percy, MP for Brigg and Goole, said: “It is great to welcome the Mayor of London to Goole where he can feel the real excitement that Siemens’ development is generating in Goole. It also demonstrates the interconnectivity of investment decisions across the country.
“Investing in London’s transport system not only benefits Londoners and those who visit and do business in our capital, it also supports thousands of jobs in the North and brings in hundreds of millions of pounds of investment. in Goole. That’s leveling in action. And a spokesman for Siemens Mobility said the company wanted to build the “next generation” of TfL trains in Yorkshire – “subject to confirmation of funding”.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan added: “Without sufficient capital investment in TfL, future contracts with regional suppliers are at risk. The best way to secure these high-skilled jobs in the future is for ministers to break the continuous cycle of short-term funding deals given to TfL, which only holds back London and the rest of the country from innovation, employment and economic growth.
“When London succeeds, the country succeeds and vice versa. This week the government has an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to leveling and providing the capital funding that TfL and its supply chain need – without it London and the country at large will be held back. And Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said economic success was “not a zero-sum game” and could “catalyze growth” for the whole country.
Earlier this month the mayor also visited Ballymena to highlight ‘jobs at risk’ in Northern Ireland due to uncertainty over TfL funding. The government bailed out TfL to the tune of around £5billion after fares collapsed during the pandemic. But TfL says it needs long-term funding to invest in vital improvements to the capital’s transport network, from extending the Bakerloo line to moving to an entirely zero-emission bus fleet.
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Josiah joined MyLondon as the first City Hall Editor in October 2021, reporting on the Mayor, London Assembly, Met Police, Transport for London and wider London politics.
He moved from Brussels to south London in 2015, working in communications for the Electoral Reform Society and covering Westminster politics as a freelance journalist. Originally from Cornwall, he is now also a proud Londoner. Josiah has appeared on BBC Radio 4, Times Radio, LBC and other outlets to discuss the news and general political chaos.