Paying price for delay in bridge work
political editor A TEN-WEEK delay that is holding up work on Ashford’s Newtown bridge could add another £180,000 to the costs of the scheme.
Kent County Council said the extra money needed for the work, which is being managed by Network Rail, could have to come from funding set aside for other capital projects in the town.
The issue of the delay was raised at a full county council meeting by Liberal Democrat county councillor George Koowaree, who represents the area. He took up complaints about the delay with Cllr Keith Ferrin, KCC’s roads chief.
In answer to a question about the timing, Cllr Ferrin confirmed the delay had been caused by the diversion works underground which had taken longer than expected.
The hold-up has frustrated many local businesses, who say trade has slumped.
Cllr Koowaree said KCC should consider compensation but was told that was not the county council’s responsibility.
“The contract is being managed by Network Rail. The delay has caused some inconvenience and it is an unfortunate set of circumstances,” said Cllr Ferrin.
Work should have been finished by early October but is dragging on until December 20 because of underground cable work.
Network Rail says its own work to refurbish the bridge was completed on time.
Cllr George Koowaree, who raised the issue of the delay