A major road project to improve bus services between Sheffield and Rotherham is millions of pounds over budget and over a year behind schedule.
The Bus Rapid Transit North scheme has been delayed by the discovery of ‘significant levels of asbestos’, as well as World War II munitions along the planned route under Tinsley Viaduct.
Project bosses are now predicting the scheme will be finished 54 weeks late and is likely to cost £7.9m more than anticipated.
While some of the extra costs has been covered, a total of £5.7m still needs to be found to pay for the work. The project team are now working on a ‘funding recovery plan’ to meet the shortfall.
SYPTE deputy interim director general David Young said: “Significant levels of asbestos have been discovered by contractors on the BRT North site. The need to remove this means construction work to build the new link road under Tinsley Viaduct will be delayed and the project costs have increased. WW2 munitions found on site requiring professional clearance have also inhibited progress.
“Priority work to develop a revised delivery programme and funding strategy is underway, to make sure the benefits of BRT North can be delivered to the region as soon as possible.”
Work initially started on the Tinsley project in January and had been due to be completed by autumn 2015. The original project cost was £29.8 million - with £15.9m coming from the Government and £8m from the European Regional Development Fund.
Dedicated bus lanes will be created, along with a link road under the M1 motorway in a bid to relieve congestion.