Matheson won’t be ‘held to ran­som’ by con­trac­tors

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS -

Trans­port Sec­re­tary Michael Matheson yes­ter­day said he was not pre­pared to be “held to ran­som” over the AWPR con­trac­tors’ com­pen­sa­tion claim.

Giv­ing ev­i­dence at Holyrood, Mr Matheson sug­gested the con­trac­tors had at­tempted to use ne­go­ti­a­tions to open the Stone­haven, Craib­stone and Charleston stretch in an at­tempt to fur­ther their claim.

Mr Matheson said it was “dis­ap­point­ing” it had taken his per­sonal in­ter­ven­tion to get that part of the road open when it had been ready for two months.

North East MSP Lewis Macdon­ald asked the Trans­port Sec­re­tary if the fact that the con­trac­tors had a “change of heart” and opened the stretch was recog­ni­tion that there was no fi­nan­cial ben­e­fit to be gained from their po­si­tion.

Mr Matheson replied: “I sus­pect that the penny had dropped.

“I wasn’t pre­pared to be held to ran­som on how they wanted to ne­go­ti­ate this process.”

Ear­lier, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Bal­four Beatty, Gal­li­ford Try and Aberdeen Roads Ltd an­swered “No” when asked by Lib Dem MSP Mike Rum­bles if they were given “any in­di­ca­tion that your claims for more tax­pay­ers’ money over and above the fixed term con­tract would be looked at more favourably if you just opened the road?”

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