Competition concerns about rail signalling takeover

The Competition and Markets Authority said it was concerned that the deal will reduce much-needed additional competition for rail signalling supply just as major contracts are coming up for tender.

On HS2, the firms make up two of the four shortlisted bidders for the £540m job to design and buildsignalling systems that will control trains travelling at speeds of up to 360km/h and up to 25 years of technical support.

It added that the loss of competition across both mainline and urban signalling markets could increase costs for Network Rail and TfL and have an adverse knock-on effect on taxpayers and passengers.

Colin Raftery, Senior Mergers Director at the CMA, said: “Network Rail currently spends close to £1bn annually on mainline rail signalling – and this is expected to increase in future, as equipment needs to be replaced and the UK transitions to digital signalling.

“The cost of signalling, and

Read more

Andy Milner to return as chief executive of Amey

The transfer of ownership from Spanish owner Ferrovial is expected to conclude in the coming weeks when Milner will take up the reins again.

Prior to his appointment, Milner has been working with Buckthorn and OEP in support of our acquisition of Amey.

The deal is worth £400m for the Amey infrastructure services and consulting business, which employs 11,000 people and has a turnover of £1.4bn.

Milner stepped down from his earlier chief executive role at the end of 2019, after four years as CEO and more than a decade with the business.

At the time he was thanked by Ferrovial chief López Soria for his commitment to Amey and Ferrovial, navigating the business through ‘some very challenging years’.


Aaron Morby

Read more

Construction buyers fear for year ahead

The latest bellwether S&PGlobal/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index shows expectations for business activity growth during the year ahead dropped to the lowest level since May 2020.

That previous low was back in the days of the start of the pandemic and those times aside the degree of positive sentiment was the joint-weakest since December 2008.

The activity Index recorded 50.4 in November down from 53.2 in October but still above the crucial 50 no-change threshold.

Commercial work was the only sector to record a rise as house building stalled and civil engineering drooped.

Tim Moore, Economics Director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, which compiles the survey said: “Stalling house building activity contributed to the weakest UK construction sector performance for three months in November.

“Survey respondents noted that new residential building projects had been curtailed in response to rising interest rates, cancelled sales and worries about the economic

Read more

350-homes approved around iconic London Tube station

The 348 new homes project is being developed by Transport for London’s commercial arm along with housing association A2Dominion are developing the near 350-homes project around the Picadilly Line tube station.

The homes, delivered across four buildings, will be a mixture of one, two and three and four-bedroom properties, providing options for all types of households.

They will be a mixture of shared ownership, which offers an affordable route into homeownership, and London Affordable Rent, the level of which is set by the Mayor of London and is substantially below open market rents, helping to provide low-cost rented homes to support low-income households.

Hounslow Development 1002 CGI FINAL

Plans also involve a new public square, improved pedestrian routes

There will also be 950 sqm of retail space, which will help support the wider local economy.

Steven Waite, Director of Technical and Commercial at A2Dominion said: “Our relationship with Transport for London is bringing a fresh

Read more

Investment giant buys Bristol M&E contractor

RDCP Infrastructure is a part of investment firm RDCP Group which controls £370m of assets in the UK.

RDCP Infrastructure is the group’s construction arm employing 260 full-time staff offering “fully integrated delivery of complex construction projects featuring engineering solutions across key building and infrastructure sectors.”

The ACES deal sees RDCP take a 90% stake in the £15m turnover business which is a leading South-West mechanical and engineering firm that has been trading for over 30 years.

ACES Managing Director Stephen Sage will continue in his role following the acquisition and work closely with the RDCP Infrastructure team to grow the business further.

Sameer Rizvi, Founder & CEO of RDCP Group explained: “The acquisition of ACES brings a high quality, growth-focused construction business to RDCP Infrastructure.

“It is a well-established and highly respected business with a strong management team. Their impressive client list includes high profile

Read more

Belfast firm signs the biggest work deal yet under Project Gigabit

Fibrus has just started to connect tens of thousands of people living and working in rural Cumbria to lightning-fast broadband under a deal worth more than £108m.

Around 60,000 premises in the county will be connected to the fastest broadband on the market.

Dominic Kearns, CEO of Fibrus, said: “We are committed to supporting local communities, ensuring any work undertaken in our name supports apprenticeships and allows more people to reap the benefits of full-fibre. ”

The firm has committed to creating at least 90 apprenticeships following the government investment.

These will cover a range of roles, from underground and overhead cabling to surveying, and Fibrus has also committed to establish an apprentice training academy at Newton Rigg near Penrith.

Areas in Cumbria to benefit

Locations set to benefit from the new super-fast broadband include:

  • Beckermet
  • Bootle
  • Borrowdale
  • Broughton-in-Furness
  • Buttermere
  • Coniston
  • Gilsland
  • Grasmere
  • Hawkshead


Read more