Alun Griffiths walks away from £57m Banwell bypass

Grant Prior 5 months ago

Alun Griffiths Contractors has told North Somerset Council it has decided not to build the Banwell bypass.

The contractor was due to start main construction work this spring on the £57m scheme which has been delayed by a series of cost increases and is being mainly funded through Home England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund.

The Secretary of State approved Compulsory Purchase Orders needed for the scheme last month and Alun Griffiths has been on site since then starting enabling works.

Councillor Mike Bell, Leader of North Somerset Council, said: “Alun Griffiths joined the bypass team in 2021, so it is incredibly frustrating for them to pull out without warning just as they were getting spades in the ground. This is unexpected and unprecedented news and we feel both let down and disappointed, as I’m sure many residents will too.

“Despite challenges created by Griffiths’ decision, I’d like to reassure residents that the council remains committed to the bypass and that we are working closely with partners at Homes England to understand next steps and solutions.

“The Banwell bypass is an important scheme for us and, over the past two years, we have made more progress towards making it a reality than anyone in the century since it was first proposed.

“This includes designing the scheme in collaboration with local residents, overcoming financial pressures and successfully securing planning permission and Compulsory Purchase Orders.

“Not only would the bypass remove long-standing and intolerable congestion from Banwell, but the wider scheme includes miles of walking and cycling tracks, as well as a substantial bio-diversity net gain. The bypass is also key to unlocking future housing sites, which are vital in seizing the opportunities presented by regional growth.

“As ever, we are focussing our efforts on moving this top-quality scheme forward and delivering for our communities, working alongside partners and doing all we can to get back on track and back on site soon.”

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