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Concrete is making a return as the first choice in highway and foul water sewerage pipe work, it is claimed.The increasing burden of contractor liability and responsibility is said to be forcing out the use of plastic as specifiers take a long-term view.Addressing the Concrete Pipe Association, chairman John Plumb said: 'Although the twin wall plastic pipe currently being introduced has the obvious advantage of being lighter in weight, no-one knows for certain how it will perform after 20 or even 10 years in the ground.'As a result, specifiers are realising that a few short term pros are likely to be outweighed by a larger number of long-term cons.'A rising tide of EC legislation, such as the forthcoming Construction Products Directive, the Public Procurement Directive and the Temporary or Mobile Sites Directive, will add to contractors' liabilities, says the CPA.Guy Brennan, CPA secretary and technical director, said: 'Faced with the prospect of longer liability periods, contractors will opt for a product that is already covered by British Standards.'One well known contractor recently switched from twin wall plastic to concrete pipe when the client demanded a 12-year contractor liability period.'I am not suggesting that the forthcoming EC directives will be as onerous as this, but I feel the message is there.'But manufacturers of plastic pipes dismiss the CPA claims. Martin Foyle, marketing manager at Wavin, which makes the Ultrarib system, said: 'We've seen no sign of this. In fact, sales so far this year are very encouraging.'We have all the necessary approvals from the water industry, and plastic is continuing to be specified for more foul water applications.' CONSTRUCTION NEWS