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Cardiff Bay Barrage: the other view

Letters

The press always highlights the bad news rather than the good, and that has happened in your article of the Auditor General for Wales's report on the Cardiff Bay Barrage (NCE 6 July). Your article ignores the following points that are made in the report:

The construction of the barrage and the management of the project, including the cost, represent considerable achievements given its size and complexity.

Progress made represents a sound performance on the part of the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation, particularly in view of the need to deal with cost increases that were due to factors outside its control.

A minimum, £170M/annum is being returned to the public purse from revenue directly attributable to the developments in Cardiff Bay.

Shortly before the Corporation was wound up, it negotiated with Balfour Beatty/Costain a full and final contract settlement of £120M.

This compares well with the provision made for the construction cost of the project of some £114M in 1994.

Your report gives the impression of a damming report by the Auditors. Far from it.

Who can recall a major project where construction costs increased by 5% over a five year construction period and who can recall the final account of a major project being settled before issue of the completion certificate?

D Crompton (F), dcrompton@constructionplus.net

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