Galliford Try road project to cost extra £33m

The cost of a Galliford Try road project has soared by almost a third before main works have started, reducing the cash available to progress another key highway scheme in the area.

Buckinghamshire Council said that due to inflation and other cost increases, the 1.8km South East Aylesbury Link Road (SEALR) would now cost £148m.

This is a £33m increase from the budget outlined at the start of this year, and leaves the council with a funding gap of almost £12m after reallocation of existing funds.

The council’s cabinet voted last week to move across money that was previously earmarked to promote the proposed 1,100-home Woodlands development, to go towards the completion of the eventual orbital road around Aylesbury.

“To address the shortfall in funding in SEALR phase 1, it is recommended that Housing Infrastructure Fund [allocation] is reprioritised,” said a report to cabinet.

This will cut the cash available to “invest in the delivery of the Eastern Link Road South (ELRS) through the marketing of Woodlands”, said the document. “The reduction in available funding is… likely to influence the outcome of the marketing of the site.”

The SEALR will connect the A413 Wendover Road with the Stoke Mandeville Relief Road being built as part of High Speed 2.

Meanwhile the ELRS, part of planning conditions for Woodlands, is designed to connect to the Eastern Link Road North delivered alongside the Kingsbrook development in the town.

Both roads would ultimately provide alternative routes around Aylesbury in a bid to tackle heavy congestion in the area.

Galliford Try has been appointed to build SEALR and work has started on two new roundabouts. Main construction is scheduled to start in August with completion in 2026.

Council leader Martin Tett said: “Buckinghamshire urgently needs the right infrastructure in place, so it’s great news that we’ve been able to approve the delivery of the SEALR.

“The scheme is the lynchpin of the Aylesbury Orbital Link Road strategy, which will reduce the number of vehicles travelling through the town centre. It is also a crucial project that will accommodate traffic growth in the future.”

Tett added: “Despite price inflation for all major infrastructure projects, we now have firm contractor costs for the SEALR project.

“Our cabinet decision bridges the funding gap for this complex project without any cost to the taxpayer, thanks to the allocation of external funding. We continue to remain committed to working with third parties to deliver the ELRS, the Southern Link Road and the South West Aylesbury Link Road.”

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