Rugby Western Relief Road under scrutiny

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A PUBLIC meeting will be held this week to examine the huge overspend of the Rugby Western Relief Road project.

Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) communities overview and scrutiny committee is meeting at Rugby Town Hall tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss the issues around the delivery of the project.

The Rugby Western Relief Road is 3.75 miles long and was built to relieve traffic congestion in and around Rugby caused by increased residential and industrial development. It opened to the public on September 10 last year.

Although research has shown that it has reduced traffic going through the town the project was months overdue and millions of pounds over budget.

The overview and scrutiny committee will examine the processes that led to delays in the scheme and it being delivered over budget, and will scrutinise areas where the county council could have worked differently to learn lessons from the project.

Cllr John Whitehouse, chairman of the communities overview and scrutiny committee, said: “We are now in a position to be able to properly scrutinise the Western Relief Road project and understand in detail why it suffered delays during its construction and exceeded its budget by millions of pounds.

“We need to establish whether the project has provided good value for taxpayers’ money and identify any lessons to be learned by the county council in the management of such major projects in future. Members of the public are welcome to attend and submit questions prior to the meeting.”

Cllr Alan Cockburn, portfolio holder for environment and economy, said: “We welcome the opportunity to explain the reasons behind the problems encountered during the delivery of the project.

“We feel the road still represents good value for money and has brought enormous benefits for Rugby. In the six months since it opened, the Western Relief Road has achieved everything we expected and more in terms of saving time for motorists and improvements in noise pollution, air quality and road safety in the town centre.”

The public is invited to attend the meeting which begins at 10am.

For a full report on the meeting see Thursday’s Rugby Advertiser.