Chris Ames 10 May 2024

Council faces court over busway deaths

Council faces court over busway deaths image
Image: Stephen Richard McAdam / Shutterstock.com.

Cambridgeshire County Council has been served a court summons over three fatalities in separate incidents on its troubled guided busway.

The prosecution relates to the deaths of Jennifer Taylor, Steve Moir and Kathleen Pitts on the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway between 2015 and 2021.

The council confirmed that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has served it prosecution summonses and that a court hearing date has been set.

It added that in May 2023 the HSE had informed it of its intention to start legal proceedings following an investigation.

In a statement, the council said: ‘We continue to extend our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of Jennifer Taylor, Steven Moir and Kathleen Pitts.

‘Safety on the busway is and remains a priority for the county council and the operators that use the busway. Since its opening in 2011, the guided busway has seen 33 million passenger journeys, the number of bus services has more than doubled, and during that time the council has worked with experts and made regular safety enhancements.

‘We will now consider the evidence presented against us, the offences listed in the summonses and prepare for the first hearing date. For legal reasons it would not be appropriate to comment further in light of the decision taken by the HSE.’

The troubled busway project has been beset by difficulties since its completion two years late in 2011 at a cost of £152m.

In 2013 Cambridgeshire accepted a £33m payout from contractor BAM Nuttall to settle a dispute over the construction cost. The original price was £83.9m.

However, further inspections raised concerns of inherent design flaws, and in 2020 the council launched a new legal claim against BAM for the cost of repairs to alleged defects.

The two parties agreed a further, confidential settlement in 2023.

This article was originally published by Transport Network.

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