Bill for new emergency services walkie-talkies up by another £1bn... but ...

It's radio gaga! Bill for new emergency services walkie-talkies shoots up by another £1bn... but they will be delayed by another TWO years New walkie-talkies for police have been delayed until 2024 at the earliest The £10bn upgrade is already five years behind schedule and £4bn over budget The Emergency Services Network will replace the ageing Airwave system

By David Barrett Home Affairs Correspondent For The Daily Mail

Published: 00:51 BST, 11 September 2020 | Updated: 00:59 BST, 11 September 2020

View
comments

New walkie-talkies for the emergency services have been delayed by another two years and gone a further £1billion over budget.

The shambolic project will now over-run by at least five years and cost the taxpayer more than £10billion – £4billion more than was budgeted.

The Emergency Services Network – to be used by 107 police, fire and ambulance services in England and Wales – will replace the current and ageing Airwave system.

It was supposed to be introduced from 2017, with full implementation in 2019, but MPs were told yesterday that the later date has slipped again to 2024 at the earliest. 

Each year’s delay to ESN costs £550million – the bill for keeping Airwave going.

New walkie-talkies for the emergency services have been delayed until 2024 - at the earliest - and will cost another £1billion to the taxpayer

New walkie-talkies for the emergency services have been delayed until 2024 - at the earliest - and will cost another £1billion to the taxpayer

Last year the Home Office forecast that ESN would cost £9.3billion, an increase of £3.1billion on the original estimates set when the project began in 2015. 

The original prediction was based on Airwave being switched off at the end of next year, the Commons public accounts committee was told yesterday.

Home Office permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft said: ‘The absolute latest that we could turn Airwave off is 2025.

‘And what we are seeking to do is to accelerate that date so that we can turn it off by the beginning of 2024.’

ESN will have an estimated 302,000 emergency service users,

read more from dailymail.....

PREV Gladys Berejiklian wins battle over koala protection as deputy backs down from ...
NEXT Four Navy aircrew parachute to safety moments before E-2C Hawkeye plane crashes ...