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Contractors refuse to take protestor risk on BNRR

CONTRACTORS BIDDING to build the privately financed £400M Birmingham Northern Relief Road are fighting attempts by client Midland Expressway to make them carry the cost of removing anti-roads protestors.

Costain, a member of one of the two shortlisted consortia, warned that costs would be passed on to the client through higher tender prices in any case.

'One way or the other the client is going to pay. Our business is not dependent on the BNRR so we won't take risks above what is sensible, ' said Costain chief executive John Armitt.

Costain is part of a consortium whose members include Bouygues, Mowlem, Skanska and Carillion. The other consortium comprises Alfred McAlpine, Balfour Beatty and Amec.

Keeping protestors off the project during construction will be difficult, given its size. The BNRR will run for 43km through open countryside and anti-roads groups have already met to plan disruption (NCE 29 June).

Midland Expressway refused to comment on the matter.

Talks between Midland Expressway and the two consortia are expected to finish soon when the construction contract is awarded.

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