Producers promise to co-operate fully with the OFT claiming the current market ’works well’

Aggregate producers have said that they will co-operate fully with the OFT in the investigation into the aggregates industry announced today.

The probe will examine the high barriers of entry and assess whether the market offers value for money.

Heather Clayton, senior director of Infrastructure at the OFT, said, “Because the cost of aggregates is reflected in the price consumers, and taxpayers, pay for essential infrastructure, from housing through to roads and major capital building projects, it is important that the market is as competitive as possible.” 

The Mineral Products Association said the current system worked well. ” We are confident that the operation of the current mineral planning system will be proven to be sound and critical to the construction and manufacturing industries which depend upon these essential supplies.”

The MPA said the current system has a proven track record of delivering a steady and adequate supply of aggregates over the last 35 years.

“The current system originated in 1975 as a result of Sir Ralph Verney’s Royal Commission and has generally worked well since.”

The aggregate sector had a turnover of £4.8bn in 2008.