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In the papers today - 20 February

Contractors have been appointed to the Environment Agency's £500M flood, defence and waterways programme.
The successful firms are Interserve, Jackson Civil Engineering, Morrison Construction Services, Volker Stevin, Team Van Oord, Birse Civils and Westminster Dredging/Dean and Dyball - The Financial TimesLondon Mayor Ken Livingstone yesterday hailed the first day of the extension of the city's congestion charge to Kensington and Chelsea a success. Its perfomance will be closely watched by several local authorities that are bidding to launch charging schemes as pilots for the national road pricing system the government hopes to introduce in 15 years - The Financial TimesGazmetall, which is half-owned by Alisher Usmanov, one of the wealthiest men in Russia, is negotiating a merger with the Industrial Union of Donbass to create a company capable of producing 20million tonnes of steel a year. The new company could overtake SeverStal, which is controlled by the billionaire Alexei Mordashov and is the biggest Russia steelmaker, producing 17.6million tonnes annually - The TimesThe Department for Transport has established a £1.4billion fund for investment in local transport but has told councils that any bid for a share of the money must include congestion charging. At least ten cities are planning to bid for by the July deadline because it would pay for tram lines, hundreds of miles of bus lanes and a huge improvement in rail capacity and frequency - The Times

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