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Atkins wards off bids from road contenders

CONTRACTS

ATKINS has won two deals worth up to £172 million to carry out highways maintenance for Somerset County Council.

The firm was told last week that it had taken a deal to work as network management contractor for the council.

Amey, Carillion, Nuttall/Halcrow and Raynesway/Mouchel also challenged for the deal, which involves undertaking all cyclical, emergency response and winter maintenance work for the council for the next five and three-quarter years.

Atkins, which confirmed this week that it was the subject of a takeover bid, has been the incumbent contractor for the council since 1996.

The council put the work back out to the market last year to give it better control of work prioritisation, budget allocation and inspection of works than under the previous contract.

One bidder said: 'We saw an opportunity when the job was advertised last year.

We thought the council might be looking for a fresh start with a change of contractor.

'But all the way through the bidding process we were aware that it is always difficult to beat the incumbent contractor, because they have good knowledge of the area and the client's demands.'

Atkins also beat Capita, Mouchel, Parkman, Parsons Brinckerhoff and Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick to the council's £3 million engineering consultancy contract, which lasts for four and three-quarter years. The firm will start on both contracts on July 1.

n Suffolk County Council sent bid documents to Alfred McAlpine, May Gurney, Ringway, Carillion and Nuttall last Friday for a £40 million five year highways maintenance deal. Bids will be returned on April 4 and work starts on September 29.

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