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Page last updated at 10:33 GMT, Wednesday, 7 July 2010 11:33 UK
Cambridgeshire's guided busway contractors warned
Top deck view of tracks
The view from the top deck of a guided bus travelling towards Histon

The contractor building a £116m guided busway in Cambridgeshire has been told to complete the entire project by December 2010, or hand over control.

BAM Nuttal Ltd has missed self-imposed deadlines to fix six major defects on the northern section of the track.

The company expects to finish the southern section by December 2010.

Council bosses have said they will employ another firm if the new deadline is not met and charge BAM Nuttal Ltd for the work.

GUIDED BUS DEFECTS
Areas of track flood because built at low level
Tyres used to help drain track not safety assessed
Gaps between beams may not allow expansion in heat
Foundations may not be appropriate
St Ives Park and Ride car park floods due to gradient
Rain water leaks through River Great Ouse viaduct

Ultimatum

On 18 June 2010 Cambridgeshire County Council announced that the 16-mile (25km) guided busway, which links Huntingdon, St Ives and Cambridge, would not be up and running by the end of June as promised.

Originally the opening was planned for April 2009, but the southern section still has to be completed and problems with the northern part of the track have been encountered.

On 6 July 2010, Cambridgeshire county councillors demanded that the whole scheme, rather than sections, should be delivered by December 2010.

It has been agreed that BAM Nuttal Ltd can have a further 28 days to fix defects if it misses that deadline.

If it is still not finished after then the county council will get another contractor to finish the track, then invoice BAM Nuttal Ltd for the work.

BAM Nuttal Ltd has been charged £6 million in damages for late delivery. The company will be fined £14 000 a day until the job is completed.

Councillor Roy Pegrum trying to cycle through flooding near busway track
Councillor Roy Pegrum cycles through flooding near the guided bus track

'Fiasco'

Some residents living in Swavesey and Willingham, villages near the guided busway route, have branded the delay a "fiasco" and questioned whether the scheme is worth the time, effort and money.

Councillor Roy Pegrum, the county council's cabinet member for growth, infrastructure and strategic planning, said BAM Nuttal's performance was not good enough.

"They have given us constant promises that they will finish the work. The actual solutions to the defects have been identified, but they are not taking any action to rectify these defects."

A spokesperson for BAM Nuttal Ltd said they are "contractually unable to comment".




SEE ALSO
Guided bus way hit by more delays
30 Apr 10 |  England
Fears for 116m guided bus scheme
13 Jan 10 |  England
No deadline for guided bus launch
04 Jan 10 |  People & Places
Guided bus trial run
12 Mar 08 |  England
Fresh delay for guided bus route
10 Aug 09 |  England
Council plea over busway defects
10 Mar 10 |  England


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