CIVIL engineers in Scotland will hold talks with Scottish Executive officials next week in a bid to fill a black hole in road spending.
The Civil Engineering Contractors'Association is concerned over the Scottish Executive's plans to focus transport cash on the £500 million scheme to complete the M74 extension from south-east Glasgow to the Kingston Bridge.
And a recent European ruling has thrown doubt on the Scottish Executive's plans to concrete over heavy chromium deposits on the 3,500 ha of land earmarked for the 10 km road, which may need to be cleared before construction work can begin.
With several Scottish road projects nearing completion, CECA fears a hiatus while M74 decontamination work is being carried out and is seeking a meeting with transport minister Nicol Stephen to raise the issue.
CECA Scotland chief executive Alan Watt said: 'We have identified a potential shortfall in road construction during 2005/6.Our worry is that, while money will be spent on the M74, it will be on clearing-up rather than road building.
'We will ask whether other projects could be brought forward to allow the industry's resource to be used in the meantime.'
At least four major road deals in Scotland are nearing completion.