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MARCH kicked off with Brown & Root International scooping top prize at Construction News's quality in construction awards.

Feeling less happy, however, were contractors on the Jubilee Line Extension, where design changes derailed the completion date. While JLE chiefs remained adamant trains would be running by March 28, 1998, other contractors were less sure, with one suggesting delays of up to 18 months.

Meanwhile, building bosses topped a Department of Trade and Industry list of disqualified directors. A DTI spokeswoman said construction had 'one of the worst records in this field'.

Protesters marched on Westminster to highlight the dangers of asbestos, particularly in '60s and '70s buildings. Ucatt general secretary George Brumwell said dust flaking off such buildings made them a 'time-bomb'.

British contractors were furious when foreign firms picked up the the bulk of a £200 million contract to build the new Parliamentary building in Westminster.

Plant giant JCB threatened to build more machines abroad if European Union labour laws were introduced in Britain.

The month ended with the collapse of the top tier of a multi-storey car park in Wolverhampton. Structural engineers demanded urgent testing of hundreds of multistorey car parks across the UK.

More than 700 people turned up to a CITB recruitment fair aimed at young women and members of ethnic minorities at Bircham Newton, Norfolk