The long-running Cambridgeshire busway dispute has taken another twist with the announcement of a six-month period of surveys and tests.
Client Cambridgeshire County Council and contractor Bam Nuttall revealed they were jointly paying for the probe, which will include testing of components on site and in laboratories, as well as monitoring of beams and foundations.
The local authority – whose councillors voted unanimously last October to pursue Bam Nuttall for £31M of claims relating to the busway – will put legal action on hold pending the results of the latest investigation.
The wrangle comes after technical and legal experts identified defects they said were affecting ride quality and could lead to a further deterioration of the passenger experience.
It follows an agreement by Bam Nuttall in September 2013 to pay £33M to the council to end a long-running dispute over delays handing over the busway.
A joint statement released on Friday said: “Cambridgeshire County Council and Bam Nuttall have agreed to carry out a series of surveys and investigations into the construction of the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway.
“Busway services will not be disrupted as all intrusive survey and investigation work will be carried out at night after the last bus. It will be necessary to close sections of the cycleway and bridleway overnight to allow for the safe operation of plant and equipment, but the works have been planned to minimise the number of closures needed. The survey work has now commenced and will take six months to complete.”