Coventry & Warwickshire

Meeting over Rugby Western Relief Road costs

A meeting is to be held looking at why a Warwickshire relief road project's costs will have exceeded its budget by millions of pounds.

The estimated cost of the Rugby Western Relief Road was about £59.7m, compared to an original planned spend of about £36.57m, the county council said.

The road fully opened to the public in September, about a year later than previously hoped.

A council overview and scrutiny committee will meet on 29 November.

'First opportunity'

The road, which is 3.75 miles (6.04km) long, is used by 12,000 vehicles every day on average, the authority said.

It added the scheme was constructed by Carillion and funded by the Department for Transport, developers and itself.

The council said the road cuts journey times and helps to mitigate environmental damage by reducing noise and air pollution within the town centre.

There had been a reduction in traffic of up to 28% in Bilton Road and more than 16% on Newbold Road, it added.

'Immense benefits'

Councillor John Whitehouse, chair of the communities overview and scrutiny committee, said notwithstanding benefits the new road seemed to deliver, it needed to establish whether the project represented good value for taxpayers' money.

He said: "This meeting will provide the first opportunity for elected members to understand in detail why this major project has suffered such delays... and why its final costs will have exceeded its budget by many millions of pounds."

Councillor Alan Cockburn, portfolio holder for environment and economy, said it welcomed the scrutiny committee's input, but "should not lose sight of the immense benefits that the road has created".

The public has been invited to the meeting at Rugby Town Hall at 1430 GMT on 29 November.

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