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Transport secretary Stephen Byers last week outlined terms under which the company that takes over from Railtrack will be chosen.

Transport secretary Stephen Byers last week outlined terms under which the company that takes over from Railtrack will be chosen.

As well as the government proposal of a company limited by guarantee, there are other parties interested taking over the infrastructure. Byers said that Railtrack's buyer must be able to prove financial viability, show it can run the network safely, show it has the necessary technical expertise and be able to implement so called special purpose vehicles to undertake large scale enhancements.

Hyder Consulting has poached Peter Deason from contractor Skanska to be the new head of its bridges and civil structures department, as Hyder looks to take advantage of the increasing number of design and build contracts.

Construction activity in the European Union is set to fall by 0.3% this year instead of the 1.7% growth predicted last year, according to forecasts produced last week by contractors body FIEC. Housebuilding is the main casualty falling by 3.9%.

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