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Julian Huppert MP

Huppert "not surprised" guided busway on hold

September 1, 2010 11:34 AM

huppertMP Julian Huppert claims it comes as "no surprise" that a £76 million guided busway project for Greater Manchester has been put on hold after an expert visited the Cambridge scheme.

Richard Knowles, an Oldham councillor and Salford University professor of transport geography, was sent to Cambridge after its busway, managed by the Tory-run Cambridgeshire County Council, became infamous in the transport world for spiralling costs and delays.

Following his visit the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition which controls the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority voted to review the Leigh busway "in the light of what has happened in Cambridge".

Julian said: "Clearly common sense has prevailed here. It comes as no surprise that Greater Manchester is going to err on the side of caution after the fiasco we have seen with Cambridgeshire County Council's guided busway.

"This project is getting a reputation throughout the transport world as one to be avoided or certainly scrutinised closely so that the same mistakes are not repeated. It is being showcased as an example of how not to run this scheme."

Liberal Democrat Highways spokesman, Kilian Bourke said: ""This is an embarrassment. The Conservative county council's mismanagement of the scheme is being held up around the country as an example of what not to do. It is just unfortunate that local taxpayers are footing the bill for its mistakes.

"We must have a full, independent inquiry into this whole project if the council is to regain residents' trust."