AN MP has called for a review into a decision not to award a £1.5bn contract to a North-East train builder, after it emerged the majority of new stock will be built in Austria.

Last year, it was revealed that Hitachi had missed out on a contact to design and manufacture Deep Tube trains to serve the London Underground's Piccadilly line.

The Newton Aycliffe-based firm lost out on its joint bid with Bombardier to German firm Siemens Mobility, which is building a new factory in East Yorkshire in order to construct the trains.

But it has now emerged that Siemens will manufacture two-thirds of the 94 trains at their site in Vienna.

Last night, Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson called on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Transport for London to review the decision, claiming they had "undermined their commitment" to UK manufacturing and Siemens had"pulled the wool" over their eyes.

Mr Wilson also claimed that Siemens' new factory in Goole will not be operational until 2023, the year when the first Deep Tube carriages are expected to be delivered.

The Northern Echo:

The revelations come just 24 hours after union bosses warned Hitachi, which employs about 750 permanent staff, was facing an "increasingly concerning" future when current orders for new trains run out next spring as there are currently no new orders in the pipeline

In his letter to Mr Khan, Mr Wilson said: "I am deeply disappointed to hear that the Goole factory will be unable to fulfil the full contract when there is a fully operational train-building facility in my constituency which has the labour force, the expertise and the supply chain to deliver the order alongside Bombardier.

"As far as Siemens' commitment to the UK is concerned. it seems to me that the company has pulled the wool over Transport for London's eyes. Siemens have committed to a new factory in Goole, which they cannot construct in time to deliver on their promise of manufacturing the Piccadilly Line fleet in the UK.

"I am deeply concerned about how the contract could be awarded on this basis since it could undermine the existing train-manufacturing industry in the UK. Together Hitachi and Bombardier were prepared to bid jointly for the contract to secure the future of train-manufacturing jobs in Britain – Transport for London has undermined their commitment to UK manufacturing."

The Northern Echo:

A Hitachi spokesperson said: “Failings with London Underground’s procurement, which have been challenged in the court by three different manufacturers, mean that Londoners will be paying a higher price for an inferior tube train.

“The train we put forward was to be built in Britain. We believe it offered a more advanced design and better value for money, and would have provided a greater boost to the economy in London and the rest of the UK.

“We continue to pursue our claim for damages against London Underground in the court.”

Jonathan Walker, assistant director, North East England Chamber of Commerce said: “The Chamber are disappointed in the decision to not award a key Transport for London tube contact to Hitachi and Bombardier.

"These businesses already have bases in the UK with well-established supply chains which helps local businesses.

"Hitachi’s new factory in Newton Aycliffe is helping to create 730 new jobs for the region.

" It is essential that the awarding of major public contracts recognises the economic and social value created by businesses who make significant investments in their local community”

The Northern Echo:

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The Mayor was not involved in the Deep Tube procurement process, and TfL officials had to follow a stringent set of criteria around deliverability, technical expertise and value for money.

"TfL’s procurement practices are regulated by EU legislation which strictly prevents all UK public bodies from directly favouring UK manufacturers, or taking the location of manufacturing facilities into account when awarding the contract.”

Hitachi remains in the running for a multi-million pound contract to build trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro, as well as a £2.75bn contract to make trains for HS2.