Upper Orwell Crossings

Local Government

Full costs of the failed Upper Orwell Crossings project revealed

The cost of the failed Upper Orwell Crossings project has been revealed, with Suffolk County Council having spent in excess of £8 million on the abandoned scheme.

The figures revealed by Suffolk County Council show that £8.1 million was spent before the project was called off. Expenses included £4 million in payments to engineering giant WSP and £2.6 million on ground investigations. £541,500 was also spent on Suffolk County Council staff costs.

Initially the project was estimated to cost around £97 million but an independent report projected the actual costs to be between £122 million and £140 million. The council then called off the project labeling it ‘unaffordable’.

Suffolk County Council still has hopes to build two new Orwell crossings, but the Upper Orwell Crossings project was cancelled in January 2019. The council’s Labour Group leader Sarah Adams labeled the project as a ‘reckless gamble with public money’.

The really worrying thing for me is the lack of humility shown in the aftermath. Over £8 million was lost on this vanity project, but no-one has stood up to take responsibility for this farce. There needs to be an urgent review of the system to ensure that this cannot happen again.

Cllr Sarah Adams, Leader of Labour Group at Suffolk County Council

About this story: Suffolk County Council's full report on the Upper Orwell Crossing costs can be viewed online here.

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