Final £60.5 million bill for Rugby Western Relief Road

THE final £60.5 million bill for the Rugby Western Relief Road was confirmed at a meeting this week.

Warwickshire county councillors met on Tuesday at Shire Hall where it was agreed to increase the total expenditure for the project to £60.5 million.

Extra funding for the road, which opened earlier this year, went over budget by £24 million.

The shortfall will be met by taking money from other budgets within the council.

Cllr John Whitehouse, Liberal Democrat spokesman for environment and economy, said: “It’s clear that every ‘back pocket’ has had to be emptied, and residents across the whole county will have to forego many smaller but essential projects to help fund this huge overspend.

“It’s now essential that councillors find out in detail what went wrong with this project and why such a massive cost overrun was allowed to occur.”

The communities overview and scrutiny committee met last month to review the overspend but the meeting was adjourned because certain information was still confidential.

Cllr Whitehouse, who is chairman of the communities overview and scrutiny committee, continued: “With the final payments for the construction contract now resolved, I have been assured that all the information which the committee wants to review can be made public.

“We shall therefore be arranging a further special meeting in early 2011 to establish what went wrong with the project and the the wider lessons that must be learned by the council as a whole.”