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Bidders expect summer kick-off for LU upgrade

NEWS

BIDDERS FOR the £13bn upgrade of London Underground (LU) said they were confident that work would begin mid-2002 as they put in their final bids for the work last week.

Metronet and Tubelines told NCE they both expected work to begin this summer, despite speculation that the contracts would fail the government's value for money test. To pass, the public private partnership contracts must prove to be cheaper than the cost of keeping the work in the public sector.

Metronet is bidding to upgrade the Bakerloo, Central, Victoria, Circle and Metropolitan lines and comprises Balfour Beatty, WS Atkins, Thames Water, Seeboard and Adtranz.

Tubelines is bidding for the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines and comprises Jarvis, Amey and Bechtel-Halcrow.

Value for money of the final bids will be assessed by the LU board and the government's independent consultant Ernst & Young.

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