Busway handed to Cambridgeshire County Council

The contractors for a £116m guided busway project in Cambridgeshire, which was due to open two years ago, have announced its completion.

The busway between Cambridge and St Ives, due to open in 2009, has been handed over by contractor BAM Nuttall to Cambridgeshire County Council.

The council has been locked in a dispute with BAM Nuttall over delays to the busway.

The council said there was still work to do before the busway would open.

BAM Nuttall now has 28 days to complete any outstanding work.

'First big step'

It is understood that anything not completed by then will be fixed by the council, with the cost being passed on to BAM Nuttall.

No decision has been made on who will foot the bill for the delays.

The council has previously said it plans to charge the BAM Nuttall £14,000 a day in compensation for late delivery. This is disputed by firm.

Roy Pegram, the council's cabinet member for growth, said: "This is the first big step towards the route opening, but I would like to remind residents that the announcement of the opening date is still some way off.

"We expect around 3.5 million trips per year will be made on the route once it opens and it will certainly be the best way to travel to avoid the frequent queues and congestion on the A14."

Steve Fox, BAM Nuttall's chief executive, said: "BAM Nuttall is very proud to have built the longest guided busway in the world, which once open, will provide a world-beating service.

"I am glad both the council and BAM Nuttall have taken a positive step forward."

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