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2002-10-01 SRA-002
Strategic Rail Authority

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Three new bidders shortlisted for Merseyrail


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Strategic Rail Authority

Three new bidders shortlisted for Merseyrail
_______________________________________________________________


date
1 October 2002
source Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release



The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) and Merseytravel Passenger Transport
Executive today announced that they have short-listed three bidders for the
Merseyrail Electrics contract to operate local passenger train services in the
Merseyside area. The new contract will follow the expiry of the current Arriva
Trains Merseyside franchise next year. The parties shortlisted, who are all
new to the UK heavy rail market, are:

Keolis SA
Serco Ltd/NS Dutch Railways
TRANSDEV Plc/RATP International

The best and final offer stage is now starting and bids are required to be
returned by all shortlisted parties early in the New Year. The Parliamentary
Order - which exempts the SRA from its franchising responsibilities for the
Merseyrail Electrics Network is currently before Parliament. It is anticipated
that the Order will complete its process through Parliament by the end of this
year. This would allow the transfer of responsibility for the letting and
management of the new contract for the Merseyrail Electrics services to
Merseytravel.

Nick Newton, Chief Operating Officer said:

"It is very encouraging to see three new bidders to the UK heavy rail market
being short listed for this important local network. Their bids contain a number
of innovative approaches and we look forward to these being developed
during the next stage of the competition. This will allow Merseytravel and the
SRA to select an operator who can deliver the optimum services and
performance for Merseyrail Electrics."

Notes to Editors

1. The SRA announced in May 2002 six pre-qualified parties as bidders
for the new contract: Arriva Trains Limited, Connex Transport UK Ltd,
Serco Limited, TRANSDEV plc jointly with RATP International,
NS/Dutch Railways and Keolis SA. Since this announcement Connex
has withdrawn from the competition and Serco and NS Dutch Railways
have formed a joint venture to bid for this contract.

2. The Merseyrail Electrics franchise includes passenger rail services
between Liverpool and Southport, Ormskirk, Kirkby, Hunts Cross, New
Brighton, West Kirby, Chester and Ellesmere Port. The services, the
greater part of which are supported by, and operate to, the
specification of Merseytravel, are currently operated by Arriva Trains
Merseyside.

3. The self contained nature of the network, the services and the market it
serves means that the Merseyrail Electrics network is uniquely suited
to greater local control and accountability. As no other network has
these unique attributes there are no plans to transfer responsibilities for
other franchises.

4. The SRA today also announced the bidders invited to submit best and
final offers for the Wales and Borders franchise.

5. The SRA is the government body responsible for allocating funding to
the railways, and providing leadership to the rail industry.


Railhub Archive ::: 2002-10-01 SRA-002





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