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Bam busway row meeting tomorrow

Council bosses will try this week to find ways of getting a multi-million pound guided bus project back on track.

A report showing how the Cambridge guided busway - already nearly a year behind schedule - has stalled is due to go to Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday.

Council officers say, in the report, there are six “particular” defects which must be resolved before the busway can open.

Roy Pegram, the council’s cabinet member for growth, infrastructure and strategic planning, said he wanted contractor Bam Nuttall to “rectify” the defects.

Bam Nuttall was unavailable for comment today but has said in a statement that it disagrees with much of the report.

The busway, which will run between Cambridge and St Ives and is costing taxpayers more than £100 million, should have opened in April 2009.

Council officers say defects include:

  • A cycleway which one councillor has described as “more like a river” than a cycle track;
  • A park and ride site that floods because the surface was built at the wrong gradient;
  • A viaduct which leaks water through a joint on to the structure below which would create extra maintenance costs in future years;
  • No guarantee that foundations will not move.

Mr Pegram said: “I am clear that it would be unacceptable to open the system if we had to shut it again or pay out for maintenance to correct defects that you would expect the contractor to have rectified,” he said.

“After all you would not buy and move into a new home if you are aware of potential problems that could force you to move out while they are fixed.”

Bam Nuttall said in its statement last week it was disappointed the council had made details of the report public without consultation.

The company said it did not agree with many “statements” in the report.

It said it intended to keep working with the council to provide a “quality busway”.