Welsh Labour’s Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates has revealed the pre-qualified bidders for services on the new Wales and Borders franchise and Metro.
Four bidders have been selected to progress to the next stage in the procurement process to operate rail services in Wales and the Borders from October 2018 as well take forward key aspects of the next stage of Metro. This will form part of the Welsh Labour Government’s ambition to deliver a new not for profit rail model similar to the way in which Transport for London manage public transport services. ambitious plans to transform rail services in Wales
Over the next 10 years, the Welsh Labour Government wants to see significant strides in the delivery of the public transport network in Wales including the electrification of the Swansea, Valleys and North Wales lines, a South and North Wales Metro and widespread structural improvements that are already in the pipeline. The priorities for the next franchise will include updated rolling stock, reduced journey times and the use of modern technology and approaches to deliver an improved service for passengers across Wales.
The Operator and Development Partner (ODP) will help deliver on the Welsh Government’s commitment to an improved, faster and more accessible rail service fit for modern Wales. The four pre-qualified ODP bidders (in alphabetical order) are:
- Abellio Rail Cymru
- Arriva Rail Wales/Rheilffyrdd Arriva Cymru Limited
- MTR Corporation (Cymru) Ltd
Bidders will now progress to the next stage having demonstrated to the Welsh Government a track record and appetite for providing high quality services as well as the financial standing and expertise to ensure delivery.
The procurement process to select an Operational and Delivery Partner is being undertaken by Transport for Wales, a wholly owned, not-for-profit company established by the Welsh Government. Transport for Wales will be publically consulting on proposals in early 2017, subject to that consultation process, it is anticipated that the final contract will be awarded by the end of 2017.