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Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport

First published:
23 May 2018
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

I am writing to update Members on the procurement of the next operator of the Wales and Borders rail service, which we launched in July 2016.

Following a rigorous procurement process under the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016, I am delighted to confirm the Welsh Government’s intention to award the contract to operate and develop the Wales and Borders rail service and South Wales Metro to KeolisAmey.

KeolisAmey is a joint venture partnership of international public transport operator, Keolis, and infrastructure asset management specialist, Amey.

In accordance with usual procurement practice, there will now be a statutory standstill period of 10 days before the Welsh Government will be in a position to enter into, and complete, the formal contractual documentation and make the award.

Upon completion of the standstill period, the contract will run from 04 June 2018 to 14 October 2033, with rail services transferring on 14 October 2018.

Members will recall that final tenders were received from three companies in December 2017.  One of those tenders was subsequently withdrawn and the two remaining bids were evaluated, with each bid being assessed for its quality, robustness and ability to deliver on the Welsh Government’s policy priorities, as set out in ‘Rail Services for the Future’.

Throughout the procurement process we have prioritised investment in the quality of trains, stations and services for the Wales and Borders Rail Service and South Wales Metro.  We are grateful to all those who have participated in the procurement process.

Neither Transport for Wales nor the Welsh Government will be able to comment on aspects of the procurement process until the end of the standstill period and will not make any further comment until the contract has been awarded.

I now look forward to sharing with you details of our exciting, transformative plans for the next Wales and Borders rail service and South Wales Metro at the earliest possible opportunity following the standstill period.