Latest Rail News

04.01.13

TfGM and Thales in court over £42m Metrolink dispute

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has taken contractor Thales to the High Court over their claim for an extra £42m on a signalling project for Metrolink.

The Manchester Evening News (MEN) reports that the case involves the dispute over costly delays to the tram network extension, with both parties blaming the other for the problems.

Thales was awarded a £22m contract to install a Tram Management System (TMS) for Metrolink in 2008, as part of the £1bn network expansion.

Openings of the new lines out to Oldham and Chorlton experienced significant delays – although services are now running on both – and extensions to Rochdale and Droyslden are now months behind schedule. Four years into the contract, Thales has only been paid £7.8m, the MEN reports.

TfGM has taken the case to court over Thale’s “fundamental failure” to meet its contractual requirements. Thales says the extra money is needed to cover extra costs incurred due to late instructions and a lack of cooperation.

A TfGM report in late 2011 said that “technical complexities” were delaying the roll-out of TMS across the expanding network.

Mr Justice Akenhead said: “The project appears not to have gone well, although the responsibility therefore has not yet been finally established.

“This project has been subjected to very substantial delays. In terms of milestones, no more than about one third are said to have been completed.”

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