THERE have been protests in north east England after a report claimed that Hitachi has been ruled out of the three-way contest to build a £500 million fleet for Tyne & Wear Metro.
The other contenders are CAF and Stadler, and the source of the claims says ‘insiders’ at Nexus have been told that Hitachi will be ‘overlooked’.
Ben Houchen, who is Tees Valley Mayor, described the alleged decision as ‘appalling’.
If Hitachi was awarded the contract the new trains would probably be built at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, where the Hitachi plant needs more work.
Mr Houchen added: ‘The new Nexus trains will be built by a foreign company, rather than one just down the road. We must stop this madness.’
Both Nexus and Hitachi have declined to comment on the claims. A spokesman for Nexus said: ‘The successful bidder will be officially announced in January.’