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Six get in gear for £25m roads chase

CONTRACTS - WEST SUSSEX

A LOCAL authority in southern England has asked half a dozen contractors to work up bids to repair and maintain its roads network.

The contract for West Sussex County Council is worth £25 million a year and will run for an initial five years with a possible five-year extension to the winner.

The roads covered by the deal stretch 4,000 km, running from Crawley in the north to Chichester on the south coast. The A23, M23, and A27 routes, managed by the Highways Agency, are the only ones not included.

Accord, Carillion, May Gurney, Alfred McAlpine, Raynesway and Ringway are all battling it out for the contract. A winner will be named in January, with work starting next July.

Neighbouring East Sussex council awarded a similar deal to May Gurney earlier this year ? which starts next month ? and one West Sussex bidder admitted: 'May Gurney could be a favourite but we're pretty hopeful, too.'