International contractors line up for deal to extend 100 km of motorway to four lanes. Plus all the other news from the weekend papers.
Transport news first, with the Sunday Times reporting that ministers look set to combine schemes to widen three sections of the M25 into a single £5bn, 30-year deal. The paper reports international contractors Bechtel, Fluor, Bouygues and Skanska are expected to bid for the deal. UK contractor Amec is also said to be considering the project. The contract will involve the widening of all the remaining 3-lane sections of the motorway to four lanes, and will cover 100 km of the London orbital motorway.
Elsewhere, the Sunday Telegraph reports that billions of pounds are wasted in bid costs for PFI contracts. Using research by the Major Contractors Group, the paper says that the average cost to each company bidding is £4m. PFI procurement methods are slow and inefficient, the research concluded.
Meanwhile, the Observer must have stopped the presses to include the breaking news that the Scottish Parliament won the RIBA Stirling prize on Saturday night. The paper says the accolade can be seen as a vindication of the building, that went nearly £400m overbudget, and recognition of original architect Enric Miralles’s tragically shortened career.
And finally, the RICS is holding a disciplinary inquiry into one of its members after it emerged the surveyor was fined £11000 for conducting an elaborate scam to avoid paying a £60 speeding ticket, the Times reported on Saturday. Stewart Bromley and his partner Cathryn narrowly avoided a jail sentence for the plot, which involved claiming an imaginary Bulgarian colleague had borrowed the car and was responsible for the offence. Mrs Bromley flew to Bulgaria and sent a postcard from the fictitous native to “confirm" the couple's story.