The Welsh Government is carrying out a procurement to secure an operator and development partner (an “ODP”) to operate the Wales and Borders Rail service and to develop plans for, and subsequently implement and operate, the Core Valley Lines as part of Metro Phase 2 in the Cardiff Capital region covering the ten local authorities of South Wales.
The procurement was advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) on 19 July 2016, reference 2016/S 137-247785, under the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016.
The Welsh Government’s vision is for a modern, efficient rail service to build on the successes of the current Wales and Borders Rail Franchise, using modern technology and working practices to deliver an improved service for passengers.
The priorities are for:
- development of new services and increased capacity on existing congested services
- modern rolling stock, complying with modern standards
- improved efficiency realising savings which can extend the service further
- co-operation with other transport providers to provide an integrated public transport service and
- a commercial structure which incentivises the right behaviours with fair commercial returns.
The ODP will coordinate works from a range of Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) Contractors to deliver the improvements that will provide whole system thinking ensuring the priorities result in an improved service for passengers.
The Welsh Government have developed policy priorities, which were provided to bidders at the start of the procurement process.
Bids are expected to align with these priorities subject to competitive dialogue.
An indicative timetable for the procurement process is set out below.
Operator and Development Partner (ODP): timescales
OJEU contract notice: July 2016
Invitation to participate in dialogue: October 2016
Bidders respond with outline solutions: November 2016
Dialogue commences: January 2017
Final tender: July to September 2017
Contract award: January 2018
Early Contractor Involvement: timescales
OJEU contract notice: June 2017
Invitation to tender: September 2017
Tender submissions: December 2017
ECI contract award: March 2018.
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