Legal battle over Cambridgeshire Guided Busway settled out of court

Cambridge busway

Contractor Bam Nuttall will have to fork out £33m to Cambridgeshire council in a legal dispute over its guided busway project.

The sum forms part of a settlement between the two parties after the completion of the project was delayed by two years.

The Cambridgeshire Guided Busway - the largest project of its type in the UK - was originally due to be finished in early 2009 for a price of £116m, of which £84m was to go to Bam Nuttall.

It was finally handed over to the council on 21 April 2011 at a reported cost of £152m.

In 2011, the council launched a legal claim for £55m from Bam Nuttall but Bam Nuttall denied it was responsible for the time and cost overruns and claimed that it was owed £43m.

Today, the council agreed to accept Bam’s offer to settle the dispute, partly to avoid further legal costs.

Council leader Martin Curtis said: “It is clear that the Council was right to take the bold decision to provide better transport options for residents in one of the fastest growing parts of the country; and right that we signed a robust contract with Bam Nuttall.

“The busway is a huge success and way ahead of passenger and business case forecasts.

“What is deeply disappointing and frustrating is that it has taken this long and cost us so much money to win our arguments…Bam’s unwillingness, until now, to recognise their financial liability means they have tied up and cost Cambridgeshire taxpayers money which could have been better spent on our communities.”

Bam Nuttall was unavailable for comment.