Author Topic: Bam Nuttall Admits Critical Information Not Complete Despite Earlier Guarantees  (Read 3081 times)

Offline Suzy Scott

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Reference:   PR1882/2011
 
Author:   Gareth Bell
 
Release Date:   12/04/2011
 
BAM NUTTALL ADMITS CRITICAL INFORMATION NOT COMPLETE DESPITE EARLIER GUARANTEES

BAM Nuttall bosses have now admitted they do not have the information required to complete mandatory electrical safety certificates despite earlier promises the work had been done.
The certificates are now the final piece of safety critical information required from BAM Nuttall which is delaying the handover of the Busway.

BAM Nuttall earlier told Council bosses they had the required information, but it has now been revealed it is not available and BAM Nuttall will need to carry out checks to ensure that all the tests have been done.

The revelation has infuriated Council bosses who last week put forward a “pragmatic” legal agreement to BAM Nuttall that would allow them to handover the route once the mandatory information had been supplied, but still committed the contractor to carry out the minor tasks that do not prevent buses running before the route opens.

BAM Nuttall has told the Council they are not able to give a date for the submission of the electrical safety certificates, but they expect to be able to say if they have all the information to complete the mandatory documents this week.

BAM Nuttall's delays have cost the firm over £10 million in damages for late delivery so far and almost £14,000 a day will continue to be deducted until the route is handed over.

Once The Busway has been handed over, other documented defects, which are more significant, will still need to be addressed before buses can run. At 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. BAM Nuttall will be liable for the costs of the work.

Roy Pegram, Cabinet Member for Growth, Infrastructure and Strategic Planning, said: “I’m at a loss how a firm of BAM Nuttall’s size, experience and international magnitude could overlook what should be such a routine task. Electrical certificates are a standard requirement.

“The timescale for the handover is in BAM Nuttall’s hands, but if they showed a real will to get the work done, as well as accepting the pragmatic legal agreement we have offered them, there is no reason why it could not happen quickly. Until they handover the route we will continue to dock them damages approaching £14,000 a day.”

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.
Suzy Scott
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Offline J621BVG

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Next year at best it will open. The question is when exactly it will open.
East Londoner

Offline Suzy Scott

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Next year at best it will open. The question is when exactly it will open.

I have given up asking that one for now...
Suzy Scott
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Offline TonyMaxwell

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What chance BAM Nuttall going into liquidation before a final outcome?
Cheers,

Tony

Offline Bob

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** speaking not as an employee of Stagecoach, or as a driver **


Why the heck does not the council just say forget it, and let Bam rip the whole thing up I don't know.

This ongoing farce has removed any credibility that the Council, and Bam might have once had. Nothing changes from month to month, does it. It is now nationally known for the ridiculous delays, and ongoing tit-for-tat arguments.  There has been no precedent in recent history.
Perhaps Cast.Iron had the right idea all along...

Offline Suzy Scott

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Speaking as an invidivual who lives a mile outside Cambs, and not for any of the groups or companies that I may have worked for (now or in the past)... someone who's only been here four years, but is already very unimpressed with the state of play in Cambs.

... The whole thing is turning into a shambles, but right from the word go.

Firstly, there were the illegal immigrants working on the construction site. Prosecution? No chance!

Do you remember when the citi network used to stop (and have an easy interchange!) at New Square? The bus stops have been declared "reserved" for several years now, for the regular passengers to have further to walk. No issue with having new bus stops etc. but they should not be exclusive to the Busway!

Then there was the issue that there was no time to get the smartcards ready in time, only to see both bus operators now widely using smartcards.

There was the farce of registered everything, only to pull it out a week and a half later!

The southern section doesn't appear to be providing value - a road restricted to three single decks an hour - hardly likely to carry the standees on the P&R Blue at the weekend, let alone any modal shift. Of course, as elsewhere in Cambs (X5 and citi4 St Neots for example), buses will not actually stop at the same stops! The Addenbrooke's access road could have very easily been built to include a bus lane, at much lower cost - and without the issues over the wall.

Incidentally, that Addenbrookes access road I mentioned? Well, there is a new biomedical campus beside there, which has sprung up in record time. Fully completed - looking wonderful (and I'm not a civil engineer myself!) Do we know who built it? That's right - BAM Nutall.

So, who's the other party in this problem? Cambs CC - the same one that has made all these crazy anti-bus decisions over the last few months and years, like no subsidised local bus services. If, for example, the recession continues, and the new homes in Trumpington, how long will Stagecoach run empty buses all week with little use i.e. weekends at the hospital?

From what I can see, the St Ives/Huntingdon line should have had the other Cambridge Express hourly, with perhaps new stations at Chesterton and AH. This could then link in with the C2 etc. to allow rail-bus connections. Yes, Cast:Iron were probably right.

But, when we look at it - there's two sides to an argument, and i think Cambs CC are the problem personally. Controversial? Well, with their handling of the Stagecoach issues and the withdrawal of support for local buses (after they had just let out this year's lot of tenders), I think the Council are failing in their legal duty. I don't see BAM-N as the problem any more!

And relax...  ;D
Suzy Scott
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Offline TCD813

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Another day, another delay on the guided busway

Quote from: Chris Havergal, cambridge-news, 13/04/2011 07:56 - Updated: 13/04/2011 09:43
A bizarre new guided busway delay was revealed yesterday when council bosses said the contractor did not have the information required to complete “routine” electrical safety certificates.
Chiefs say they are “at a loss” how BAM Nuttall could “overlook” the documents, which are the final pieces of critical  safety information required before the route is handed over.
Cambridgeshire County Council said the company had previously confirmed it had the information required to complete the certificates – but now it has revealed the data is not available.
The firm will have to check whether all the tests have been done and, if they have not, more work may be required.
BAM Nuttall has told the council it is unable to give a date for the submission of the electrical safety certificates, but expects to be able to say if it has all the information required this week.
Cllr Roy Pegram, the authority’s infrastructure chief, said: “I’m at a loss how a firm of BAM Nuttall’s size, experience and international magnitude could overlook what should be such a routine task.
“Electrical certificates are a standard requirement.”
A certificate guaranteeing the design of the Trumpington cutting retaining wall, which was regarded as ‘safety critical’, has now been submitted...

Click the link above to read the article and the readers' comments, or indeed to add your own!
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
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Offline Suzy Scott

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What's the £10 million of fines - adding every day - to be spent on? It's not going to be local bus services...

... But it's a very interesting way of getting the ringfenced cash to spend on something totally different, is it not?

Maybe the Guided Busway is a smokescreen - in the same way that two councillors up north ended up being found out for corruption over a proposed development that never happened. Use this and write press releases every teapot day, and then MAYBE the passengers won't notice the bus has been cut!
Suzy Scott
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Offline TCD813

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Calm down, Suzy: you'll bring on an asthma attack.  ;)

(In me, as well as you!)  ;D
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
There's all 'manor' of stuff on my Twitter A/c.

Offline Suzy Scott

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Calm down, Suzy: you'll bring on an asthma attack.  ;)

(In me, as well as you!)  ;D


Point taken - now you know why I keep quiet on these things!  :D
Suzy Scott
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Offline alanv

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Well Suzy has brought together a number of issues.

I would like to comment on some of them as an older resident of Cambridgeshire who attended a few of the Guided Busway inquiry sessions.

1) "The southern section doesn't appear to be providing value - a road restricted to three single decks an hour - hardly likely to carry the standees on the P&R Blue at the weekend, let alone any modal shift. Of course, as elsewhere in Cambs (X5 and citi4 St Neots for example), buses will not actually stop at the same stops! The Addenbrooke's access road could have very easily been built to include a bus lane, at much lower cost - and without the issues over the wall."

It should be realised that the Southern section was never cost justifiable.
Thus the cost justification had to be applied to the whole project and the County council resisted any attempt to split the two sections.
This meant that the projct had to be let as a whole and the Northern and Southern sections could not have dfferent end dates.
The Southern section was always had the greatest risk as to access due to the gas main through the Trumpington cutting. Indeed if (and I have no knowledge) the completion date was 24 months after the last access was granted to BAM Nuttal it could be that 2011 is the due year for completion.

It is fortunate that the development of the Southern fringe is still taking place as it will provide potential patronage that was not fully included in the original justification.
However the use of doble decker buses by Stagecoach, due to traffic congestion reducing the average speed of buses in the central approaches to Cambridge, negates the usefullness of the Southern section of the busway.

2) "Then there was the issue that there was no time to get the smartcards ready in time, only to see both bus operators now widely using smartcards."

At the inquiry the County Council presented an  legal opinion by Bircham Dyson Bell

Summarising it confimed multi operator ticketing  is not normally permitted, and the block exemptions allowed would not be relevant. However it was in their opinion, after discussion with the OFT, that a limited exemption could be applied to journeys that used the busway and commenced before and terminated after the guideway.

It appears that the County did pursue this. It may be that Stagecoach were not a willing party. It certainly appeared that they were always going to want to provide a lower cost exclusive Stagecoach alternative.

3) "Do you remember when the citi network used to stop (and have an easy interchange!) at New Square? The bus stops have been declared "reserved" for several years now, for the regular passengers to have further to walk. No issue with having new bus stops etc. but they should not be exclusive to the Busway"

The County need to maximise the revenue from the bus way.
The whoe issue of interchanges has not been addressed.
The issue surfaced in the Cambridge Transport Commission but was not really answered.

4) "There was the farce of registered everything, only to pull it out a week and a half later!"

Any thoughts on what will happen when the bus way is declared properly open.

Could Stagecoach decide to wait until a more convential time such as the school holidays before implementing any changes.

Online barryb

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I was a little bit against the northern section from the beginning and a lot against the southern section.  Despite this, I'd desperately like to see both of them both appear to succeed, and better still even actually succeed.  We do not in these times need public transport spending to either appear to be a waste of money or to be capable of being seen to be a waste of money.

The benefits of a working northern stretch v heavy rail are arguable and there's no need to rehearse the argument again.  Trains and buses both have benefits, and personally I prefer the benefits of trains but some people prefer buses.  It being buses that we're getting, I'd love to actually see the benefits rather than a hideously expense 4 lane cycle path that's really smooth but too narrow. 

The benefits of a working southern stretch don't exist.  It serves no other purpose than to get in the way of a railway that could potentially (though less likely than the St Ives line) have been useful.  If it was any use at all then it would be the gift from heaven for the Trumpington and Addenbrooke's park and ride services; services that need to run from the railway station to Addenbrookes (or thereabouts) direct with no intermediate stops and on existing roads.  If it can't serve them, and of course it can't, then it's only remaining potential minor use would be for services from outside like the city like the 13s or 26.  It's no use for them either.  It's the public transport equivalent of giving a granny a formula one car to do her shopping.  It's more expensive than the useful thing, but still useless. 

I would love it if the train wreck that is this project (pun intended, because it indeed wrecked trains) would end when it opens.  The grim realisation when reading this press release it that it is clear that it won't, and that even if / when functioning and even if doing so successfully the project is going to be a millstone round the neck of the image of public transport for years to come.

This case is going to be in the courts for a long time after opening, and CCC are going to get at least partially eaten alive, whether they are "morally" in the right or the wrong.

CCC are clearly utterly clueless.  They are very unlikely to be getting the "overpayment" back and they are very unlikely to get all if any of the liquidated damages they keep referring to.  This is a project costing hundreds of millions of pounds subject to a contract mired in the trap for the unsuspecting that is construction law, and it's worse than clear that CCC are out their legal depth.

For a start, the type of contract that this project is under, that CCC claim needs reviewed but that everyone else uses very successfully, ALWAYS prohibits the kind of indulgent public throwing of toys that CCC have been partaking in.  Press releases should only be made if they are agreed by both parties and there should be no public blame games.  This is clearly not happening.  Is it "morally" right or wrong that a public body should have its speech and its opportunity to defend itself restricted in that way?  That's irrelevant.  BAM will be able to point to this as evidence that CCC had no interest nurturing the open and co-operative relationship the contract requires.

BAM doubtless already have a team of barristers scrutinising every move they take; and it wouldn't surprise me if CCC have the construction law equivalent of the bloke from the citizens advice bureau helping out from time to time.   In the months and years to come we are going to see them get eaten alive, whether rightly or wrongly (and probably both).  It will be at our cost, and it will be to the cost of the reputation of public transport investment, and it will happen just at the time when it's most important that public transport investment can be defended as not just worthwhile, but essential.

We are seeing the same, except worse, in Edinburgh City Council's tram project.  Contractors that we can now, following the farcical legal action they brought, call delinquents are running rings round a client that is utterly out their depth.

I think the lesson is that small local councils should not be running large infrastructure contracts.  I moved away from Scotland because I don't want to be there, but I'd have to concede that the "Transport Scotland" setup is the right one, as it lets an organisation with the knowledge to know what's going on around it successfully deliver projects like Stirling - Alloa and Airdrie - Bathgate.