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Merseytram goes back for re-tender


LIVERPOOL'S TROUBLED Merseytram project took another twist this week, when the Merseyside passenger transport executive rejected the bid from the only consortium left in the race for the project.

The MET group, comprising Balfour Beatty, Parsons Brinckerhoff and French transport operator Keolis, had looked to have a clear run at the £600M light rail project.

Its only rival dropped out shortly before the bidding deadline last October.

But now Merseyside's passenger transport executive, Merseytravel, has placed a fresh tender notice in the Offi cial Journal of the European Communities.

A Merseytravel spokesman said 'certain aspects' of the bid were unsatisfactory and failed to offer best value.

Merseytravel chief executive Neil Scales said: 'The progress of Merseytram will not be affected.

Line One will be built on time.' Trams are due to be running by 2008 when Liverpool become European City of Culture.

A company spokeswoman said: 'There's an ongoing discussion. The customer has decided, as is his right, to go out for a parallel procurement, but they are still talking to us.' The original deadline for bids was extended when the city council demanded a route change to Line Two.

The council later retracted this position, but not before the M-Tram consortium withdrew.

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