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Cement price hike backlash

CONTRACTORS believe Blue Circle Cement will have trouble maintaining price rises due to come into force from April 1.

Blue Circle will raise the price of bulk and packed cements by 2.80 a tonne. At the same time delivery charges will increase by 5 per cent.

But contractors say the industry will not be able to cope with the rising costs.

Graham Swanton, chief buyer with Taylor Woodrow, said: I don't see how this increase can stick in this climate.

Tarmac purchasing director Ian Wollam said: Our view on the current market is that any increase will be very difficult to sustain.

Contractors are being hit by a gap in spending caused by the slow-moving Private Finance Initiative and a moratorium at the Highways Agency.