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Merseytram deal still to be sealed says MET


THE LAST remaining consortium left in the race to design, build and operate the £600 million Merseytram is playing down claims that the contract is in the bag.

Mersey Express Tramway, the team of Keolis, Parsons Brinckerhoff and Balfour Beatty, delivered its bid just one hour before a midnight deadline, last week.Thousands of pages of documents were taken to the offices of Merseytravel lawyer DLA just one week after MET's only rival M-Tram pulled out.

A source at MET said: 'Despite being the only team left, we are under no illusions as to what we still have to do.Merseytravel could turn round and say they don't want what we're offering.'

The bid is thought to be inside the client's budget and will also provide Line One of two by the 2008 European Capital of Culture year.

The source said of M-Tram's withdrawal:'We think they simply got fed up with Merseytravel consistently moving the goal posts.There was a good deal of confusion as to what was wanted from which lines and they thought it had become more trouble than it was worth.'