‘See you in court’ was the response to Cambridgeshire County Council by the company that built the guided busway and are refusing to settle a new bill for repairs.
The county council says its latest claim against BAM Buttall, is over alleged defects to the £152m busway that opened nine years ago.
A council spokesperson said: “We have lodged a formal claim with the court and are proceeding with legal action against BAM Nuttall. The claim is for the cost to repair defects on the guided busway.
“This follows a thorough review and advice from external legal and technical experts, who have assessed the work and the contract.
“BAM Nuttall are defending the claim and if this continues the claim will have to be heard by the courts and a potential trial is unlikely to be until the end of 2021 or possibly 2022.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further while legal proceedings are active.”
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BAM Nuttall believes they have fulfilled their side of the deal, pointing out that the growth in numbers using the busway. They also invited the council to recognise that it is “a fantastic piece of transport infrastructure which has performed consistently and reliably”.
BAM Nuttall says engineering evidence denies the validity of the council’s allegations.
“BAM has long sought to work with the council to address its concerns,” said the company in a statement. “We’ve assured the council, on many occasions, that anything wrong with the busway design, for which BAM Nuttall is responsible, we’ll put it right
“It’s disappointing that the council is progressing the matter through litigation in the High Court. Our next step is to explore the details of Cambridgeshire County Council’s claim.
“BAM is confident that we’ll demonstrate that the design of the busway is not fundamentally defective and doesn’t require the remedial works, which the council claims.”
In 2013 BAM Nuttall paid back to the council £33m of the contract price following a lengthy legal dispute.
The initial contract was for 130 weeks of work, with the completion date on February 27, 2009, but the busway was not completed until April, 2011, and not open for use until August of that year