Express & Star

Fury over decision to make West Midlands 'Boris bikes' in Germany

An MP has accused the West Midlands Mayor of failing to back British firms after it emerged the region's new Boris bikes will be made in Germany.

Warley MP John Spellar

Leipzig-based company nextbike won the Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) contract to build 5,000 cycles, which are due to be rolled out in Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Coventry from September.

It means Midlands firm Pashley Cycles, which made bikes for the London scheme, has missed out.

John Spellar, the Labour MP for Warley, has been a vocal critic of public bodies failing to but British, and recently hit out at the Home Office for awarding the contract for the UK's new Brexit passports to a French company.

He said: "It is outrageous that while Transport for London is sourcing new bikes from Pashley Cycles in Stratford-on-Avon, the West Midlands Mayor didn’t pop down the Stratford Road but went all the way to Leipzig in Germany to buy his bikes.

"Once again public authorities are using taxpayers money to back our foreign rivals rather than British Industry and British workers."

A TfWM spokesman said Pashley had aligned with a rival bidder whose offer did not involve the Swift travel card, which the region is using as part of the scheme.