Thursday, 9 June 2011

Lib Dems welcome busway but fear huge bill for taxpayers

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats have welcomed the news that the long-awaited Guided Busway will be open finally on August 7.

But they are concerned that the county’s taxpayers could pick up a huge bill for the project after fears that the total cost could creep up to as much £187 million; in a worst-case scenario local people could be liable for up to £71 million.

The Conservatives insisted from the start of the project, which is more than two years late, that "not one penny" of taxpayers’ money would be needed to pay for the busway.

With a legal battle imminent and new contractors brought in to rectify defects to meet the August deadline, however, they have now resorted to promising to “get the best deal for taxpayers”.

Liberal Democrat Highways Spokesman, Kilian Bourke said: “It will be good to see the guided bus finally up and running but at what cost to local people?"

“A string of Conservative leaders promised not to spend one penny of taxpayers' money on the project but now they are only promising to get "the best deal for taxpayers."

"The watering down of the original promise is ominous when there is £71m at stake.  I suspect this is one "best deal" that local taxpayers could do without."