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Opening of Busway scheme delayed

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The launch of Cambridgeshire County Council’s pioneering £116m Busway project has now been put back to the New Year - more than nine months after the original date for opening.

Inspections have found that works were still being completed by the contractor BAM Nuttall on the route between St Ives and Cambridge, delaying final agreement with the council.

The Busway is distinctive because buses serving the route travel conventionally on open roads before joining the 15-mile twin-track guided system.

The work still needed includes adjustment to ‘car traps’ - which prevent other vehicles getting on the Busway - and maintenance of a new viaduct.

A council spokesman said a date could not be set for opening until the contractor was in a position to hand over the scheme, on which work started in early 2007.

Current forecasts show that the cost of the route, including land, could be £1.3m over the original budget of £116.27m.

The council is looking to set aside £1m of Government transport funding each year from its capital programme to cover potential additional Busway costs.

Roy Pegram, the cabinet member for Growth, Infrastructure and Strategic Planning, said: “Although delays to completing the works should not mean Busway construction will cost the Council more, it does mean we must be prudent and plan for potential extra costs.

“We may not like the fact that we need to make plans in the event The Busway costs more than we originally budgeted for, but this is all about being sensible and planning for the future to protect the public purse.”

County council explanation video

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