Saturday 27 November 2021
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Nottingham

Gedling Access Road: Councillor describes £5.4m overspend as ‘debacle’

Gedling Access Road has been described as a ‘debacle’ by one councillor who discussed a £5.4m overspend on the project.

The 3.8km carriageway, which should be completed this year, will link the A612 Trent Valley Road and Nottingham Road to Mapperley Plains.

The £40 million scheme is intended to ease traffic issues through Gedling village and serve the new Chase Farm housing development.

But a council report shared with the Finance Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council stated there was an overspend of £5.4m in the Transport and Environment Committee relating to the project.

It comes as the council said it needs to borrow £70m in the next year.

Councillor Tom Hollis (Ind) said: “With regards to Gedling Access Road – it’s clear that this debacle is going to have an over-reaching impact across the Transport and Environment department.

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“We may have the situation that planning improvements to roads in places like Huthwaite, Carsic, Blidworth and Rainworth are impacted by this huge overspend.

“There may be many reasons as to why costs have spiralled out of control – including expensive contractors stood around with nothing to do because the supply chain has broken down.

“What guarantees can the chairman give that the current £5.4million overspend will not continue to grow?”

Councillor Hollis asked where the money to fund the overspend is coming from amid concners it will be taken from already allocated highway’s maintenance funding.

Chair of the meeting Richard Jackson (Con) responded: “It is not coming from the roads budget, it is not coming from the highways budget directly.

“We are responsible for all of the overspend because it is our project and we will bring a full report to the next meeting.”

He added: “There is a lot of work going on to fully understand the Gedling Access Road overspends.

“A lot of it is due to Covid, there is a global problem in construction.

“We shouldn’t forget the enormous benefit that the road is bringing.”

John Clarke, leader of Gedling Borough Council, added: “£5.4m sounds like a lot of money but [not] if you compare to HS2 and other things like that.

“The actual building has been extremely challenging and I think they’ve done well.

“It is public money and we want to know where the £5.4m is coming from but I would like to set a more level playing field.”

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