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DfT steps into Network Rail supplier row

A senior Department for Transport (DfT) official this week stepped into the row between Network Rail and piling specialist Screwfast over the track operator’s procurement policies.

Last week Screwfast technical director Duncan McGregor had hit out at Network Rail’s claims that it encouraged innovation.

“Out of the blue came a most welcome phone call from a senior executive at the DfT, followed up by a friendly email offering a meeting to discuss our problems.”

Duncan McGregor, Screwfast

Instead, McGregor said the rail operator was ineffieicent and bureaucratic (News last week). Network Rail had said it employed a dedicated contact for small suppliers.

But McGregor said he had been unable to find anyone within the company who carried out this new role.

“Then out of the blue came a most welcome phone call from a senior executive at the DfT, followed up by a friendly email offering a meeting to discuss our problems,” he said.

The executive had read last week’s NCE story and has arranged a meeting with Screwfast for next month.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Winston Churchill once said, “the man who has no enemies has never done anything”.

    We have had our patents copied, been locked out of tenders, and had competing technology specified where ours have proved to be better.

    We have had to come to the aid of NR on many occasions where others have failed and we have pioneered solutions for NR against all odds for many years. Naturally, we would like to reach a stage where we are not simply the ones who battle through to the goal line, just for others to intercept and score with our ideas.

    Those who put the boot in, a national past time against the fallen, will be dismayed by my stance. With, truth and better foundation solutions, we will reach the ultimate decision makers, who might appreciate what we can do for NR.

    Those who shun our ideas actually haven’t got a clue what we can offer.
    They have no idea how much it could save them in time and in money.
    We are constantly producing new and better foundation solutions because we are fully focussed in that direction, and nowhere else.

    That is why we have enjoyed such impressive growth in other sectors.

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  • "Just a quick note to say that I whole heartedly agree with what Duncan has said in the NCE.I hope this finally gets the attention of Coucher as it's good to see a break away from the sycophantic attitude that the majority of suppliers have with NR".

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