British Prime Minister David Cameron

Train upgrade hope for Bombardier

Prime Minister David Cameron says the Government wants to make sure train builder Bombardier has a ‘bright future’.

David Cameron told MPs during Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons that he knew there were “real concerns”, but the Government wanted to make sure Bombardier had a “bright future”.

He spoke as Tory Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire) urged the Prime Minister to look at sending more civil service jobs to Derbyshire amid the potential closure of Bombardier.

Cameron said: “I think it is encouraging to hear the Department for Transport is looking into the possibility of upgrading an existing fleet of Bombardier-built diesel trains to enable them to run using electric power. Now, this could be a good breakthrough.

“The fact is about the previous contract - and we’ve discussed this in the House before - it was established by the last government, we had to follow those instructions. That’s why that contract had to be awarded elsewhere, but we are looking to the future of Bombardier and the future of Derby and we want to make sure it's a bright future.”

Labour’s Chris Williamson (Derby North) said the British train-building industry was “hanging in the balance” following the decision to build trains in Germany. He called on the Prime Minister to meet a cross-party delegation to discuss reviewing the contract to “secure the future of the British train-building industry and keep Bombardier in Great Britain”.

Cameron referred again to the “new opportunity” as he replied: “We want to keep Bombardier in Great Britain and we want to keep Bombardier working.”

He said the Government was putting a lot into rail investment, adding: “This is a Government that wants to do more for our railway industry and wants to do more for Bombardier after they were so badly let down by the last government.”

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