UK: London Underground announced on July 5 the shortlist of bidders for the two deep-level infrastructure companies being formed under the Public-Private Partnership, following the submission of bids on March 31. LINC and Metronet have been shortlisted for Infraco BCV (Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines), with Tube Lines Group and TubeRail selected for Infraco JNP (Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly). Three consortia submitted tenders for both infracos, but Tube Lines only bid for JNP.

The shortlisted bidders now enter 'discussions' with LU, leading to the submission of 'final offers' in the autumn. The selection of preferred bidders is expected in December, with the final PPP contracts to be signed by April 1 2001. Initial bids for the Sub-Surface Lines Infraco are due to be submitted on September 15.

As a second phase of shadow-running for the PPP, the Infracos have been operating since April 1 as wholly-owned subsidiaries of LU. This is intended to test the format of the service contracts that will be signed with the private sector concessionaires.

The recently-elected Mayor of London Ken Livingstone reacted to the announcement by condemning LU for not consulting him, as required by the Greater London Authority Act. 'Nine weeks after my election no consultation has taken place, and I have not received the information I have requested in writing from London Underground on the PPP', he said.