Huge increase in bill for Caerphilly roundabout scheme revealed by Plaid Cymru

27/12/2018

Councillor Colin Mann, Plaid Cymru group leader on Caerphilly Council, is demanding a full explanation following the disclosure that the bill for the Pwllypant roundabout scheme is now over £8m.  This represents an increase of 50% over the original estimate.

Councillor Mann said: “Some of the reasons quoted for the vast increase could be put down to a lack of foresight when the contract was first awarded.  The huge chaos caused by the work shouldn’t have come as a surprise, if proper traffic counts had been taken

“Single lane travel did have a massive impact on travel times, particularly for commuters travelling to and from work.  Businesses situated locally have quoted massive losses in takings which could seriously threaten their future viability.”

A Freedom of Information request by Plaid Cymru shows that the work, which finished recently, has cost a total of £8,065,000.00The original estimate cost, including construction work, was £5,341,965, figures supplied by Caerphilly Council reveal.

He  went on: “I’m pleased that additional funding was provided by the Welsh Government but the revised bill now means that the council will have to find an extra £1,300,000 in very difficult financial circumstances.  Will this mean a large increase in houses to raise funds to meet the cost of new roads.

“We also have the ongoing senior pay scandal where the bill is now nearing £6 million - £76 for every man, woman and child in the borough -  and no real prospect of it ending soon. 

“This latest revelation will put even more pressure on very high profile service such as the sacking of Community Safety Wardens and the introduction of charges  for rat problems.”

 The Pwllypant scheme began in October 2017 and was completed in November, 2018, later than expected.

The council laid out four reasons for the huge hike in the bill.

They were

  • Instructing the contractor to revise his method of working from a single lane approach to Pwllypant Roundabout to a two lane approach.
  • Further restrictions to Contractors way of working.
  • Underground services were not as the utility companies provided drawings and underground equipment in different position (in addition this had not been picked up on the stats sonar survey).
  • Changes to the scheme design.

Councillor Colin Mann, who represents Llanbradach, added: “This scheme is important in helping reduce congestion for drivers’ travelling to and from the Rhymney Valley. However, in anyone’s language, this represents a massive increase in costs.

“Apart from changes to the contractors’ method of working, the hours of that working were also increased. However, it does beg the question: could the issues that arose with a single lane and the length of the working hours been foreseen before the contract was awarded?

“I hope lessons from the Pwllypant project will be learnt for any future road schemes in the county borough.”