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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Independent Alliance say Gedling Access Road costs are ‘out of control’

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The Independent Alliance at County Hall have accused Nottinghamshire County Council of letting the Gedling Access Road costs get ‘out of control’.

They have accused the Conservatives of ‘financial mis-management’ after leader Ben Bradley this week confirmed the road is now £8.6million over budget. 

The road was originally meant to have cost £40million. 

Last month, the Council estimated that this will cost £5.4million more – this has now gone up to £8.6million.  The Alliance said the overspend must now be met by Nottinghamshire’s tax payers.

Councillor Tom Hollis, Transport and Environment Spokesperson for the Independent Alliance said: “The £8.6million overspend is completely out of control and getting worse. 

“It will have a detrimental impact on all council services – despite repeated attempts to find out the Council have refused to identify where this money is coming from.  Is it from the roads budget?  The children’s budget?  The social services budget? 

Ben Bradley Gedling Acces Road
PICTURED: Nottinghamshire County Council leader Ben Bradley says the advantages outweigh the financial difficulties

“The Tories who run County Hall have basically undertaken a costly, major infrastructure project without due diligence and with an open cheque book.  The contractors have serious questions to answer as do the Conservatives. 

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Gedling Access Road is our version of HS2.  I will be asking the Council some searching questions about financial mismanagement that will cost us dearly at a time we can ill-afford. It’s inconceivable that the pain caused by this decision will have a detrimental impact on every part of this County.  

“Residents will be quite rightly asking if they get value for money from an under performing Council on the brink.”

Mr Bradley told Gedling Eye earlier this week that the advantages of the long-awaited Gedling Access Road will outweigh current financial and scheduling difficulties.

He said: “A global pandemic has meant that construction has had to cope with unexpected problems.

“Inflation has also meant that the cost has risen and poor weather and alterations to planned groundworks has unfortunately resulted in a delay.

“When you dig a hole it doesn’t always look like you thought it would.

“The choice was to delay even further, waiting another 18 months to two years, or crack on. I think the latter is the right thing to do.”

“However, the benefits of the finished project, including improved journey times, links to expanded housing, the creation of local jobs and the overall easing of congestion outweigh the difficulties we are currently experiencing big time.”

“I also think the project could bring in £73m to the local economy. It will more than pay for itself.”

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