ON SEPTEMBER 1 Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive is due to issue detailed information to the five candidates it has shortlisted for a contract to build and operate Line 1 of the proposed Merseytram network, a 19 km light rail route running from the centre of Liverpool to Kirkby (MR 03 p40). With outline bids to be submitted this autumn, the PTE hopes to invite best and final offers from three bidders before the end of 2003 and select its preferred bidder in ’spring/early summer 2004’.

Over 70 organisations expressed interest in bidding, and the shortlist was initially reduced to nine. One bidder groups the new Merseyrail franchisees Serco and NedRailways with Fluor. The other consortia are VIA GTI UK with Parsons Brinckerhoff; Mitsubishi Corp and MTR Corp of Hong Kong; Arriva Passenger Services and Siemens Transportation Systems; and Transdev of France.

  • On August 11 the Corporation of London announced the results of a feasibility study into construction of a light rail line through the heart of the city. Running from Battersea to Hackney via Vauxhall, Elephant & Castle, Borough, London Bridge, Bishopsgate and Shoreditch, the route would complement Transport for London’s planned Cross River Transit light rail network. Consultants have been appointed to develop an outline business case for the scheme.