New Civil Engineer – DfT to publish Heathrow southern rail guidelines after months of silence

The Department for Transport (DfT) is to publish guidelines for a southern rail connection into Heathrow next month, over a year after it first invited bids for the route.

Speaking at a Westminster Forum on rail services in the UK, DfT non-executive board member Tony Poulter said the government is due to publish “objectives and an approach to potential procurements or competitions” on the route next month.

It is understood that the statement will not include an announcement of a preferred bidder to build the new rail line, despite bids going in 11 months ago.

In March last year, the DfT launched an invitation for investors for those interested in putting forward proposals for the new rail link. However the DfT is yet to publish any further guidance on how the schemes could be taken forward despite bidders orginally being told a decision would be made in the autumn of 2018.

The announcement of the guidelines publication will add to frustrations over the lack of clarity relating to the scheme, after being made to wait for months by the DfT.

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