Page last updated at 18:20 GMT, Monday, 16 November 2009

Guided busway handover is delayed

An artist's impression of the Cambridgeshire guided busway
Opening of the 116m guided busway has been delayed

The launch of a £116m guided busway in Cambridgeshire has been delayed after inspections revealed some work was still to be done.

The handover and opening of the St Ives to Cambridge busway was expected in November but is not now likely before the end of the year.

More work is needed to get the project up to the required standard, Cambridgeshire County Council said.

Contractors BAM Nuttall agreed the work was needed.

The council and BAM Nuttall have made good progress in recent weeks on the terms of the legal agreement needed to formally handover the track, the council spokesman said.

"However, the finishing works are part of finalising the agreement and until they are done, the agreement can't be concluded.

"Council leaders are disappointed there is still work to be completed but are clear this must be done before the agreement to handover the track can be signed."

'Meet high standards'

Roy Pegram, cabinet member for growth, infrastructure and strategic planning, said: "I share everyone's disappointment that the busway will not open at the end of November.

"But I am certain people in Cambridgeshire would agree with me that we can't accept the track until the outstanding work on it is finished.

"We want the entire route to meet the high standards the council and public expect and the contractor has promised, so we can provide an excellent and reliable service for many years to come.

"We are in BAM Nuttall's hands and therefore are not able to announce another date for the opening until the work needed for that to happen has been completed."

A spokesman for BAM Nuttall said: "It is disappointing we can't get buses running by the end of November but we are committed to working with the council and we will complete the outstanding work as soon as possible.

"Most of the work has already been completed but to handover now would mean a few outstanding tasks would not meet the high standard we set for ourselves on all our building projects."

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