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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Council warns of ‘high risks’ as Kex Gill cost soars to £69m

North Yorkshire County council officials warned that the “burden of risk” for major projects, such as the realignment of the A59 at Kex Gill, will fall on the authority amid soaring inflation.

The cost of the scheme to build a diversion on the A59, near Blubberhouses, has increased to £68.8 million.

Senior North Yorkshire county councillors today approved a further £7.2 million to the project in order to cover the shortfall caused by a rise in inflation.

It takes the council’s contribution to the major highways project to £12.7 million after the Department for Transport capped its contribution at £56.1 million.

Gary Fielding, the council’s director for strategic resources, told councillors today that the reduction in funding from ministers combined with inflation soaring would leave high risk on the council for capital schemes such as Kex Gill.

He said:

“In terms of capital, you are seeing two things happening in general and I think it is right that members are aware of the risks. “We have got allocations in government funding across the board actually reducing in quantum for the forthcoming period and in parallel with that we have got inflation rates taking off. “So what you have actually got is a much reduced spending power going forward and a higher profile of risk based upon major schemes where the burden of risk will fall 100% with the council.”

A report before councillors today warned that any “unforeseen events” with the Kex Gill scheme which lead to increased cost would fall upon the authority.

Cllr Gareth Dadd, executive member for finance at the council, added:

“I wouldn’t say I’m pleased to be having to recommend a further £7.2 million to the Kex Gill project, but nonetheless it shows our commitment to major road improvement.”
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