Sunday 21 July 2024
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Nottingham

Gedling Access Road £5.4m over budget

It has led to mounting concern over where the funding will be found, with one councillor fearing the £40 million project could become “our HS2”.

Workforce and labour issues as well as delays over Covid have caused council spending on the Gedling Access Road to be more than £5 million over budget.

Work is well under way on the large bypass road, in the Gedling borough, with construction workers on-site in various stages since the start of 2020.

Official timelines for the project anticipate the road to be open in autumn this year, helping to ease traffic congestion in Gedling village by linking the B684 Mapperley Plains and the A612 Trent Valley Road.

But Nottinghamshire County Council documents, reviewed by Monday’s finance committee, forecast the project will cost £5.4 million more than originally planned.

Issues of delays accessing materials, construction workers being ‘pinged’ and the council continuing to pay costs have, documents say, caused the overall cost to rise.

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Speaking at a finance committee meeting on Monday (September 6), some raised concerns over where the extra finance will be found to combat the “spiralling costs”.

Councillor Tom Hollis (Ash Ind), who represents Sutton West, told the committee: “I certainly feel that, with better planning, this overspend could have been avoided.

“The Gedling Access Road was originally meant to cost £40 million, it’s now gone up by £5.4 million or 12 per cent, but included in that initial £40 million was contingency costs.

“We’ve gone above and beyond those contingency costs already, and seemingly that money has got to be found from somewhere within our budgets.

“I don’t suspect the transport committee will receive any more money from this council, so that’s going to come from our existing capital programme, and £5.4 million is a lot of money.

“I’m concerned the Gedling Access Road is going to become our HS2, with spiralling costs going out of control.”

Councillors were told an additional report will be brought forward to the same committee in the autumn, addressing how the overspend will be funded.

Nigel Stevenson, service director for finance, infrastructure and improvement, said: “Some issues are related to Covid, with some of the workforce pinged and not available, but we’re still paying for construction costs despite progress being less.

“In terms of materials, which has been the issue particularly in the past year, not only materials but costs have gone up.

“As you delay in getting materials, it means the workforce is still yet to use materials despite us still employing them [to do so].

“A report will come back to the finance committee, and I take points entirely about the impact on the highways budget.”

The 3.8km single carriageway road is scheduled to open in the autumn.

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