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Standard bug bearer

Letters: Readers write

I refer to the article entitled 'Litigation fears stifle geotechnical innovation' (NCE last week). Screwfast Foundations has spent an enormous amount of time over the past few years trying to get acceptance of our system.

The system was invented in 1833 and many Victorian structures are still supported by it. The Americans developed a similar system that is widely used in the USA and the Australians also carried out further research in the 1970s and 1980s. We have sponsored independent research at The Transport Research Laboratory.

When used in the right context the system can save British industry millions of pounds. Unfortunately this counts for nothing when there is no British Standard to refer to. Very few of those who have responsibility for 'approval' have the guts to say 'yes' without such a standard.

I asked the relevant committee of BS how this might be rectified and was told that I was seeking a commercial advantage. I was told I had to speak to the French. The French said I would have to gain the support of five other EU countries before they would even consider it.

Peter Dunn, chairman, Screwfast Foundations, peter@minisoils.co.uk

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