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New delay sets start on M74’s missing link back 6 months


GLASGOW'S M74 has been hit by another delay - this time due to problems thrashing out a contract with the builder.

Now the £550million missing link' scheme is up to six months behind deadline, with construction work not expected to start until New Year at the earliest.

Issues including the clearance of contaminated land on the planned five-mile route, and complications over how railway tracks will be bridged, have led to problems in financial negotiations between Transport Scotland and Interlink M74, the single consortium which has bid for the contract.

It's the latest hitch to the project which has already been dogged by delays due to a public inquiry and a legal challenge by green campaigners.

advertisementThe link from the East End to the M8 west of the Kingston Bridge is expected to create thousands of jobs and regenerate some of Glasgow's poorest areas. Work was originally due to be under way in 2006.

Transport Scotland has been negotiating the contract with the developer since last October and the deal was meant to be signed by April, with construction starting in September. However it today it now expects the deal to be signed "in the autumn".

An October agreement would be six months after April 1, the contract start-date originally demanded by the government agency when the project went out to tender last year.

Work will not start until next year, it confirmed today, with completion pushed back from September 2010 to 2011 - if everything goes as planned.

A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: "The M74 is a complex project and it is vital all the relevant construction issues are fully understood to ensure value for money. We have agreed, following discussions with the joint venture, to allow a bit more time for the tender."

She added: "This scheme is being procured on a design and build basis and there are numerous complex issues such as contaminated land and large number railway crossings.

"Work was expected to start at the end of 2007 and is now expected to start in the first quarter of 2008.

"The road was expected to be open towards the end of 2010. We now expect the road to be open in 2011."

Glasgow Cathcart MSP Charlie Gordon, a former city council leader, warned against delays and wanted the deal signed off before the May election.

He said today: "The start date has slipped again and that's unacceptable. Officials have been aware of these problems for some time. It seems to me somebody has to knock some heads together."

from the ET

This is Bloody disgraceful. They forced the football team from my Dads home town to vacate their ground a year early so they could start the Motorway through it. Now they have been forced to rush to build a new ground. ARGH!!!!!
 

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Doesn't surprise me in the slightest. This motorway was meant to be finished next year originally. A mix of their own incompetance and the fucking hippy brigade.
 

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Sgitheanach
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Hey, what's going on with this flipping extension then? I have noticed a clearance of warehouses around the Scotland street area of late but have heard nothing about it... Am I going to wake up in a few days time to see vast swathes of grey concrete snaking it's way over the Vicky road?!
 

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MORI
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M74 extension: Will the gap ever be filled?

Get Glasgow moving


Herald

‘One month’ to save the M74 road extension programme

Ministers have just over a month to finalise a deal to build the half-billion-pound "missing link" in Scotland's motorway network, it emerged last night - as doubts persist over the government's commitment to the project.

Senior officials are in sensitive talks with the sole consortium to bid for the right to construct the M74 extension, effectively completing a high-speed ring road around central Glasgow first planned in the closing months of the Second World War.

The Scottish Government and the consortium, Interlink M74, have just 90 days to thrash out agreement on a bid, which, The Herald understands, was formally lodged in early November.
Last night supporters of the development reiterated the case for the road being built.

George Redmond, a councillor in the east end of Glasgow and a lead figure in the Clyde Gateway project, a £1.4bn regeneration scheme, said: "Why would you build a 400-mile motorway and not finish the last five miles? This extension is critical to the economy, giving businesses easy access to the rest of the UK. It will also drive down congestion on other roads and replicate the M77 extension in cutting accidents."

The Herald today sets out the overriding economic case for the motorway, which is expected to bring an extra 20,000 jobs to Scotland's poorest communities in two decades.

Insiders said government officials had already secured concessions from the builders but it is not known how high a price Interlink M74 was able to name.

The M74 Completion - or M74C for short - has been officially costed at between £375m and £500m, including a robustly forecast £180m in compensation for businesses along its route.

Bids were sought for the construction work to be done for around £275m. Inflation in the building sector, however, is high, partly because so much of the UK construction industry's capacity is caught up in projects related to the London Olympics.

Last month there was speculation that the new SNP administration may delay the M74C. Sources, however, last night said SNP ministers were every bit as convinced in the need for the M74C as their predecessors.

A spokeswoman for Transport Scotland said last night: "The final bid is in and we are carefully considering this before presenting our findings to ministers. We expect the project will be completed by 2011."
 

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What a scandel this will be if its not built after spending so much time and money on it already not to mention Glasgow infact the west of scotland is grid locked as it is.
 

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£€$$ is more
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I just wish the would use the money towards a top quality tram or light rail system that would get people moving around the city much more effectively. Join up all areas and take away the need for the new Motorway.
 

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I just wish the would use the money towards a top quality tram or light rail system that would get people moving around the city much more effectively. Join up all areas and take away the need for the new Motorway.
Obviously not a driver then.

£800m has just been spent on 1, yes 1 railway station in London.

Not against a tram system or light rail, but the M74 COMPLETION, MUST BE BUILT.

Dont know why they cant find the money for both, when London gets almost a billion getting one station refurbished. :bash:
 

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MORI
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Transport Scotland

M74 Completion




The M74 Completion project will complete a vital part of the west of Scotland’s motorway network.
The new eight kilometres (five miles) stretch of road will continue the M74 motorway from Fullarton Road Junction, near Carmyle, to the M8 motorway west of the Kingston Bridge.



M74 crossing River Clyde
 

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MORI
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Sunday Herald

Greens set to block budget over road plans

THE SNP government's first budget has suffered a setback after the Greens made it clear they could not support the Nationalists' plan.
The Greens believe funding for the M74 extension and a lack of resources for public transport projects make it impossible for them to support the financial proposals.
 

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AirGlasgow.com
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Not on my watch;)
 

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AirGlasgow.com
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smalltown boy
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From The Scotsman:

M74 extension hit by new delay

By ALASTAIR JAMIESON AND ALASTAIR DALTON

SCOTLAND'S biggest road-building project has been hit by yet another delay amid fears costs may have soared.
Transport Scotland last night admitted the contract for the controversial five-mile M74 extension in Glasgow would be postponed for another month to deal with "issues" in the tendering process.

It is another setback for the scheme in what has been a protracted battle between the environmental lobby and the Scottish Government.

Only a week ago, The Scotsman revealed the European Commission had been asked to investigate claims ministers broke the rules over the contract.

The Greens claim ministers and the companies involved in the tender process broke two key European Union directives. They are focusing on the decision by four potential bidders to combine as one consortium to tender for the work, and the decision by ministers to unify two contracts into one – moves that the environmentalists believe were anti-competitive and against EU rules.

Negotiations between Transport Scotland and Interlink M74, the consortium of Balfour Beatty, Morgan Est, Morrison Construction and Sir Robert McAlpine, should have finished last April. The contract was finally due to be announced today. However, Transport Scotland issued a statement last night which said: "The M74 completion is a complex project and Transport Scotland had previously negotiated a one-month extension to the tender assessment period with the consortium to resolve various tender assessment issues."

Transport Scotland insists the project, due to be completed in 2010, will still cost between £350 million and £500 million – estimates which are more than four years old.

Even allowing for building cost inflation – currently as much as 6 per cent – the true price of the scheme could be between £473 million and £631 million. Experts said rising energy prices and demand created by the London 2012 Olympics could push costs higher.

A Green Party spokesman said: "We believe the process in which bidders were combined into one looks like an anti-competitive practice. This puts the future of the project in doubt."

The extension is designed to link the M74 to the M8, west of the Kingston Bridge in Glasgow. The project has been backed by business groups, local authorities in the area and the current Scottish Government – as well as previously being supported by the former Labour-Lib Dem coalition at Holyrood.

However, green campaigners have mounted a vociferous campaign against the extension, claiming it would cause serious damage to the environment.

Simon Storer, of the Construction Products Association, said: "Over recent years, a number of external factors will have changed in any major construction contract – particularly a rise in the cost of energy. It doesn't always mean the price will go up, because different materials could be chosen, but costs could change."

The other sides of the planned motorway "rectangle" around Glasgow were completed with the M8 and M73 in the 1970s. But a five-mile gap to the Kingston Bridge has remained since an initial extension of the M74 to Carmyle in the south-east was opened in 1994.

Plans to complete the scheme were lodged the following year despite campaign group Glasgow For People warning of "motorway madness" and Labour councillors being accused of ignoring the party's anti-motorway building policy.
 

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Whether you support the M74 extension or not, the utter farce that has surrounded the whole project makes me feel so annoyed.

This country has devolved into a nation where nothing can be done right, on time or on budget. Procrastination, uncertainty, incompetence and complaints (about literally anything) now consume the Scottish (and indeed British) way of life.


Ugggghhh.
 
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