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Joint endeavours


I note (NCE 6 April) that the Highways Agency is encouraging its maintenance contractors to work with local authorities to jointly procure materials and expertise.

How original! Until the mid1990s, local authorities were the HA's agents and provided an efficient and responsive service.

They were then displaced by the Managing Agent Contractors, doubtless in an effort to secure 'best value'.

Now the Agency appears to have a problem with escalating costs and is looking to the local authorities to bale it out. The same local authorities which have been marginalised by the establishment of the Local Transport Boards.

How cynical can the politicians get?

Mike Gardiner, retired local authority engineer, 41 Westcliffe Road, Roker, Sunderland, SR6 9NP

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