Vote follows report identifying £31m of further problems on troubled busway project

Cambridge busway

Cambridgeshire council has voted unanimously to take forward further legal action worth up to £31m against contractor Bam Nuttall over its delayed guided busway project.

The council said on Twitter last night that its General Purposes Committee had unanimously agreed “recommendations to tackle busway defects and hold contractor Bam Nuttall to account for costs.”

The troubled project - the largest of its type in the UK - was originally due to be finished in early 2009 for a total cost of £116m, but was eventually completed in April 2011 at a reported cost of £152m.

Last year Bam Nuttall paid out £33m in an out of court settlement over a dispute over cost overruns on the project following the delay.

But last week fresh expert advice given to the council by a lawyer and consultant Capita said there are further defects on the project, amounting to £31m of work, that should be fixed by the contractor.

Independent advisors found a variety of defects on the project including shallow foundations, inadequate drainage and misaligned bearings.

The same advisors have told the council the defects amount to a breach of contract by Bam Nuttall and it should be pursued for the money to pay for the repairs.

Bob Menzies, service director of strategy and development at Cambridgeshire council, said the defects “left by the contractor” should be fixed and paid for by Bam Nuttall. He added that if the “defects” were left “then beams could move seriously effecting ride quality.”