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Reference: PR1862/2011
Author: Gareth Bell
Release Date: 05/04/2011

Transport bosses have offered BAM Nuttall a way to handover The Busway quickly so Cambridgeshire residents do not have to wait for the company to carry out routine jobs which should have been completed by now.
Councillors heard today that the handover of the route could be threatened as final minor finishing jobs have not been done by BAM Nuttall – even though they have been told some time ago that they are a requirement for the independent Project Manager to say the firm has fulfilled their contract.

As the jobs BAM Nuttall pledged to carry out have not been done, frustrated Busway bosses have been discussing a legal agreement that will allow the route to be handed over, but still commit BAM Nuttall to complete the outstanding minor jobs by the end of May.

Senior Councillors today described the proposed legal agreement as a “pragmatic and sensible approach” to try and end BAM Nuttall's delays which continue to cost the firm almost £100,000 a week in damages for late delivery.

If BAM Nuttall choose to accept this approach a line can be drawn under the contract and the Council can finally take the steps needed to get the route open.

Once The Busway has been handed over, other documented defects, which are more significant, will still need to be addressed before buses can run. From handover BAM Nuttall will have 28 days to fix all these defects (see notes).

As BAM Nuttall disputes the defects are problems - such as a cycleway that has sections that are flooded and impassable, a leaking bridge and a car park that does not drain properly - Councillors have approved bringing in a new contractor if the work is not done. The costs of the work would be deducted from BAM Nuttall.

Roy Pegram, Cabinet Member for Growth, Infrastructure and Strategic Planning, said: “The fact is BAM Nuttall should have completed all the works two years ago and their delays have cost them over £10 million in damages.

"Everyone in Cambridgeshire is fed up with BAM Nuttall's delays, and although many of the routine jobs could have been done anytime over the last couple of years, the Council certainly does not want to see them stand in the way of the project moving forward. We have always taken a pragmatic approach and I certainly hope BAM Nuttall finally decide they want to join us in this approach."


Notes for Editors:
For further information, contact: Gareth Bell in the Communications Team on (01223) 699997 or 718510.

For further comment, contact: Conservative Councillor Roy Pegram 07979 960140; Liberal Democrat Councillor Kilian Bourke 07737 782295 or Labour Councillor Tariq Sadiq 07976 789006

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Notified Defects on the St Ives to Cambridge section:

Maintenance track – some areas of the track have been built at too low level which means rain water has collected and the maintenance track is flooded. These areas of the track need to be raised without affecting the flood balance in the area.

Beam expansion gaps – The County Council requires the contractor to show that the gaps between the beams will allow for expansion of the beams during periods of hot weather while giving a smooth ride for passengers.

Foundations – The County Council requires the contractor to show that the use of shallow pad foundations on some short sections of track where deeper piled foundations were originally planned is appropriate. The County Council need calculations to show the track will not move over time reducing the ride quality.

St Ives Park & Ride car park – the car park has been built with less than the specified gradient and water is ponding on the surface of the car park.

River Great Ouse Viaduct – rain water is leaking through an unsealed expansion joint onto the steel below. If this was not fixed now council taxpayers would pick up future bills for additional maintenance costs.