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Leaked email highlights Cambridgeshire busway row

Further evidence of the breakdown in relations between Cambridgeshire County Council and its guided busway contractor Bam Nuttall emerged this week.

Attempts by the contractor to put pressure on the council to open the busway before technical issues were resolved have emerged in an internal email accidentally sent to the contractor’s client.

The email, sent by a Nuttall employee in November last year, was made public this week following a Freedom of Information Act request.

The council refuses to accept handover of the £117M busway because of six defects it says Nuttall must fix (NCE 11 March).

The email reveals that Nuttall planned to clear a section of track to allow driver training to begin, raising public expectation that the scheme was complete.

“This puts the pressure firmly back on the county: the public sees the guideway in operation with buses using it; the bus operators will have expended a large amount of money training drivers which will have been wasted if the guideway is not opened by November; it also allows us to fix the car traps which are currently seen as a possible show stopper,” says the email.

“I believe that [this] will push the county into a position were [sic] they have to take over the guideway at the end of November to run buses.”

Cambridgeshire County Council cabinet member for growth, infrastructure and strategic planning Roy Pegram said it was “clearly unacceptable” for Nuttall to suggest putting pressure on the council.

“It is incredibly frustrating for everyone that Bam Nuttall has not yet completed the job so the route can open, but we will make sure they fulfil their obligation,” he added.

Bam Nuttall refused to comment on the email.

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