Work will progress on St Ives to Cambridge Guided Busway, says CCC

PUBLISHED: 16:33 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:33 08 June 2010

THE long awaited opening of the Guided Bus will have to wait a bit longer as BAM Nutall has yet to fix any of the defects on the guideway. However, Cambridgeshire County Council said today (Thursday) that it is confident its contractor will get cracking o

THE long awaited opening of the Guided Bus will have to wait a bit longer as BAM Nutall has yet to fix any of the defects on the guideway.

However, Cambridgeshire County Council said today (Thursday) that it is confident its contractor will get cracking on the outstanding work after agreeing to a new timetable aimed at getting the busway open.

The project, which was due to be finished 14 months ago, has six defects which CCC is adamant it wants fixed before it is willing to accept the section between St Ives and Cambridge.

However, despite high level talks between Nuttall and CCC over the past month, there has been little progress and the plan to announce a new date for the opening of the guideway in April has been shelved.

Until Nuttall carries out work and supplies vital information to CCC, the busway will remain empty.

Graham Hughes, CCC's director of growth and infrastructure, told The Hunts Post he was now more confident that the six defects would be rectified.

"What we have been trying to get BAM Nuttall to do is to openly commit to do this work and that it what they have now done."

Nuttall has agreed that between now and mid June it will:

- Complete technical and design work on the risk assessment for the rubber tyre infill to the guideway

- Agree design work to address the surface water on the St Ives park and ride site and complete the remedial work

- Agree design work and carry out work to fix a leaking joint on the viaduct over the River Great Ouse

- Complete technical work and calculations to ensure the beam gaps on the guideway are sufficient

- Carry out testing to assure the council that the guideway foundations acceptable

- Resolve the flooding of the cycle path

The repair of the cycle path, CCC says, could be carried out while the busway is operational.

"Other than these issues it's just about finished," said Mr Hughes. "But this work still needs to happen before we can accept the busway.

"The necessary works to fix these final issues have been moving forward slower than we had expected by the contractor, but we welcome this latest commitment by BAM Nuttall.

"This the first time we have got Nuttall to agree to a timetable and I am more confident now that this work will happen."

The busway was expected to cost £116million but is more likely to be £160m - CCC says its share of the overspend will be limited by the contract it signed with Nuttall although this will be argued in court when the entire project is finished.

The southern section of the busway is not likely to be completed until next year.

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