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Big firms suffer in Highways Agency's drive for specialists

Three top engineering consultancies were dumped by the Highways Agency this week as it looked to increase its use of specialist firms.
On Tuesday the Agency appointed the main consultants for its national support framework, providing services such as project management and cost control.This replaces the Agency's current regional consultancy frameworks and allows small firms to bid regionally for specialist tasks such as archaeology and fleet management.Hyder Consulting and White Young Green, both on the current regional frameworks, failed to make the grade.White Young Green was unavailable for comment but a Hyder Consulting spokesman confirmed the firm had bid for the new framework and said: 'Our strategy was to be competitive on quality at a price that we thought the market could sustain.'It also understood that Faber Maunsell bid for the work and missed out, but the firm refused to comment.Agency project leader Ian Sweeting said: 'It has been a tough bidding process and we look forward to working closely with the successful suppliers. This new support framework will speed up procurement and keep costs down for us and the suppliers and will supplement the specialist skills needed for our projects.'In full, the successful main consultants are:ArupAtkinsCapitaHalcrowJacobs BabtieMott MacDonaldMouchelParkmanOwen WilliamsParsons BrinckerhoffPell FrischsmannScott WilsonURSWaterman CivilsWSP

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