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Pitt: are his recommendations practical?

Sir Michael Pitt (NCE last week) may have been talking about flooding, but he could just as well be referring to other engineering and transportation services that have, over the years, been farmed out to consultants.

It's not just about money, it's about status within the organisation as well, as the engineer's role has diminished from chief officer to service provider.

In Wales this is further compounded by having 22 local authorities with little chance of providing many of the technical skills needed. The result is that even the design of simple, but very necessary, projects such as new cycle route provision is farmed out to consultants with expensive and sometime curious results.

DAVID JUDD, Swansea, david@djtranplan.freeserve.co.uk ,EH22 1JG

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