Disupte Over Busway Continues

10 March 2010, 12:08 | Updated: 10 March 2010, 12:44

Cambridgeshire County Council says it is "incredibly frustrated" by progress made by contractors building the guided busway.

The Council has released details of the update on the busway that will be given to councillors at a meeting later this month.

In that report, the authority urges the contractors, Bam Nuttall, to correct issues that it believes are defects.

Roy Pegram, Cambridgeshire County Council's cabinet member for growth, infrastructure and strategic planning, said: "Bam Nuttall have been notified there are defects on the busway.

However, they are not accepting the defects that they have been notified of are in fact defects.

This means they will not correct them as they must do under the contract."

The busway, which will link Cambridge and St Ives along the A14 corridor, was supposed to be ready in April 2009.

It is now not expected to be complete until November.

Councillor Pegram added: "These are defects such as a cycle path that the contractor has built in a drainage ditch so it is unusable for much of the year.

You don't have to be an engineer to see the cycle path that Bam Nuttall has built looks more like a river than a cycle path in some places.

The Council cannot accept handover of the busway until Bam Nuttall have corrected the defects.

Doing so would mean the Council accepting defective work and the cost of putting it right, either now or in future.

All we want is Bam Nuttall to be reasonable and finish the scheme as they are contracted to do, to the standards Cambridgeshire residents expect."

In a statement, Bam Nuttal said:

"We are very disappointed with the decision from CCC in making this public without reference to BNL. We are not in agreement with many of the statements in the report.

We have undertaken a great deal of dialogue at senior level to resolve this issue we intend to continue to work with CCC to provide a quality busway for the people of Cambridgeshire.

In the light of the publication of this document and contrary to our previous decision of not discussing this contract in public, we may find it necessary to issue a fuller statement at sometime in the future.

For the record the busway was extensively trialled during late summer 2009 where members of the public and local authorities have ridden the whole length of the busway.

We look forward to this groundbreaking infrastructure being opened to the public."

The Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, which represents around 1,200 business across the county, has expressed it's disappointment at the dispute.

Chief executive, John Bridge, said: "Most people I talk to aren't interested in all of the difficulties between the contractor and the council.

They just want someone behind the scenes to get it sorted, and make the buses run."

Click here to take a video trip along part of the guided busway. (From April 2009)