Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Smarter Cambridge Transport publishes major report on Busway defects

Many readers of this blog will know of Smarter Cambridge Transport (SCT), the initiative of an impartial group of local volunteers, who are developing and promoting a modern vision for integrated transport in Cambridge and the surrounding region. They have recently posted a major report, with accompanying commentary, on the Busway's defects. Actually, I'd go further than that - although the title of the report mentions only "defects", the report itself explores the whole long-term viability of the Busway, not just the immediate repairs which are required (and which are likely to be the subject of legal proceedings between the County Council and BAM Nuttall).

Here's just a short taster from SCT's blog post:

Smarter Cambridge Transport has prepared a detailed review of reports commissioned by the County Council. It identifies more than twenty areas of concern with the busway not identified in those reports. The council leader, Councillor Count, has indicated that two companies, Capita and Atkins, are continuing investigations and that our findings have have already been investigated. We cannot verify this until a new report or statement of claim is published.
Perhaps the most important question we pose is whether the problems are due in part not to construction defects, but to inherent design flaws that repairs alone cannot fix.
The review runs to 22 pages. For those who don't have the time or energy to read the whole thing (although it comes highly recommended for anyone interested in the future of the Busway), there's the usual Executive Summary. And the blog post which helped launch it also provides a useful (but different) summary.

Although the report was launched on 20 July, the version currently available from the SCT website (and to which the link below leads) is dated 26 July (the blog post was updated on that date as well). There's no indication as to what changes were made that I can find.

Here are the links you need:

Blog post: http://www.smartertransport.uk/guided-busway-defects/

Report (PDF): http://www.smartertransport.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Guided-Busway-Defects-1q.pdf

According to the Cambridge News, the County Council "do not consider that [the SCT report] raises any new issues that need to be considered as part of our claim [against BAM Nuttall]." In addition, the council leader, Councillor Count, has indicated that twenty areas of concern with the busway listed by SCT as not having been identified by Capita's reports into the Busway's defects "have already been investigated". Smarter Cambridge Transport say they cannot verify this until a new report or statement of claim is published. Here's the link to that Cambridge News story.

[Declaration of interest: earlier this year I was asked to comment on an early version of the SCT report  - which I did. I have had no involvement with the report or its authors since then.]

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