Yesterdays article reported that the cost of the Defence Trainining Review had now increased by £1bn to £13bn. An article on WalesOnLine reports that Vale of Glamorgan MP John Smith is calling for a dedicated rail stop to be built at St Athan, which will add more cost to the project. He thinks this will benefit the Welsh economy and ease congestion:
A DEDICATED rail stop should be built to serve the Defence Technical Academy in St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan MP John Smith has said.
Thousand of trainees from the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force will attend the £13bn academy.
Mr Smith said: “In order for the Welsh economy to take full advantage from this record investment, the St Athan site must be served by an improved transport system.
“There are operational railway tracks running within very close proximity to the site. I believe there is a very strong case for building a dedicated rail stop at the academy. It will help reduce road traffic congestion, and prevent commuters and visitors to the academy the inconvenience of having to get off at Rhoose or Llantwit Major stations and transfer to a bus shuttle service.
“I will be writing to the Welsh Assembly Government, the local planning authority and the consortium responsible for building the academy asking them to consider building a rail halt at the site for the good of the Welsh economy.”
In addition WalesOnLine reports that a proposed road link that will service St Athan could cost up to £135m of tax payers money. Currently there are approximately 600 Civil Servants plus many military and private sector workers employed at RAF Cosford, the majority of these staff would be expected to move from Cosford to St Athan if the Metrix plans go ahead. Cosford is situated 800 meters from a motorway and already has it’s own railway station.
Is it right that so much taxpayers money is needed to support the Metrix bid is surely a question that needs to be asked. This is another reason that we are asking members to write to the NAO and get them to scrutinise this project which has already cost the tax payer millions in wasted consultant fees.
PRIVATE EYE keeps up the story!!
The latest edition of Private Eye reports that Brigadier Geoff Nield has let it slip that the cost of the Defence Training Review programme had gone up and is now over budget.
At a local “Stakeholders” meeting in the Vale of Glamorgan, home to a proposed new defence academy, the Ministry of Defence’s officer in charge, Brigadier Geoff Nield, let slip that the price had gone up from £11bn to £ 12bn. As the deal was slated to save the MoD just £400m at the old price, it seems the scheme will not only expose the armed forces to serious operational risks (see Eye 1213) but will actually cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions more than keeping training in-house.
The increasing delays to implementing the project has led to the National Audit Office (NAO) pulling its plans to investigate the deal. Members are encouraged to write to the NAO requesting that they undertake a review of the public monies spent on DTR. There is a link to a sample letter below, this can be amended as you feel fit.