Guided Busway delayed to allow completion of finishing works

PUBLISHED: 11:33 16 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:58 28 May 2010

South Cambs District Council Lib Dem Leader and County Councillor Sebastian Kindersley at the Guided Busway.

South Cambs District Council Lib Dem Leader and County Councillor Sebastian Kindersley at the Guided Busway.

THE opening of the St Ives to Cambridge Guided Busway has been further delayed because finishing works have not yet been completed.

Construction inspections took place once work was completed to identify final tasks

THE opening of the St Ives to Cambridge Guided Busway has been further delayed because finishing works have not yet been completed.

Construction inspections took place once work was completed to identify final tasks and, although most of those have been carried out, some still need to be completed by constructors BAM Nuttall.

Councillor Roy Pegram, Cambridgeshire County Council’s 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, the route has been signed over to us and bus services registered.”

Peter Bishop, BAM Nuttall spokesman, 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."

Cambridgeshire’s Liberal Democrats claim the Guided Busway will open in January next year, but fear the delay will result in a sharply-reduced service over Christmas.

They claim new timetables with sharply-reduced service levels on some routes will still come into effect at the end of November and could lead to "considerable difficulties for schoolchildren, commuters and shoppers".

Cambridge City Councillor Clair Blair said: "We have spent a considerable amount of time over the past week gathering the best part of 1,000 signatures against the cuts being made. Residents are increasingly angry, and rightly so."

St Ives Lib Dem Councillor Colin Saunderson said: "Residents of Huntingdonshire and South Cambridgeshire have suffered endless service changes, the inconvenience arising from construction and are, one of these days, due to get a Guided Bus project way below the specification originally promised. A nine-month delay on such a simple project is completely unacceptable."

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