Nottingham City Council has selected a consortium including Vinci Construction as its preferred bidder to build two new tram lines in the city and to operate the extended network.
This announcement comes after the government approved lower cost expansion plans last week.
The council will now enter a period during which it finalises the details of the contract with the preferred bidder, a consortium which also includes tram manufacturer Alstom, transport operators Keolis and Trent Barton and investment funds OFI Infravia and Meridiam Infrastructure. It is hoped that the 23 year concession contract, which will construct new lines to Clifton and Chilwell, will be awarded in late summer.
To ensure the extended tram network’s operation is fully integrated with the existing Line One, the contract with the consortium currently operating Line One, Arrow Light Rail, will be terminated.
Nottingham City Council chief executive Jane Todd said: “The process of selecting a preferred bidder has involved a lengthy, formal and highly demanding process to ensure the best outcome for both the city and the future of the tram. We received two very strong bids but Tramlink Nottingham has come out on top. We look forward to working with them to develop their proposals before awarding the full contract.”
Tramlink Nottingham chairman Roger Harrison said: “We are delighted to have been selected as preferred bidder. Building on Arrow’s successful legacy, we are excited to be taking forward the next chapter in Nottingham’s tram story. Our focus now will be on working with Nottingham City Council to ensure NET Phase Two can be introduced at the earliest opportunity.
“We have put together an extremely strong partnership and we are confident of being able to create a network which will not only be efficient and effective in terms of meeting the city’s transport needs but which will also help to take Nottingham’s international status to a new level.”
Subject to final negotiations and the contract being awarded in late summer 2011, construction work on the new lines could start by the end of the year. Passenger services across the extended tram network could be fully operational by the end of 2014.