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Tube bids deadline scuppers holiday

Christmas will come early for those on London Underground's best and final offer shortlist for the £3.2bn sub-surface lines refurbishment contract to be published next week.

The announcement of the bids for a public private partnership will mean Christmas working for some or all of the consortia Metronet, Linc and Surface Lines Group as they rush to submit their final offers for the contract by January 22 next year.

The contract includes refurbishment of the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and East London lines.

Since submitting initial bids on 15 September, the bidders have been in discussions with London Underground detailing solutions to technical issues and prices. The successful bidders will see a continuation of this process, but with more emphasis on the finalisation of funding.

'We wouldn't expect to be working Christmas Day, but may be on Boxing Day, ' said a spokesman for Metronet, adding that up to half a dozen members of its contract team would be on call.

Metronet comprises Adtranz, WS Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Thames Water and Seeboard. The Linc consortium is Bombardier Transport, John Mowlem, Fluor Daniel, Alcatel and Anglian Water.

Surface Lines group consists of Bechtel, Halcrow, Amey and Jarvis.

The winning bidder will be announced at the beginning of 2001.

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