Urgent answers sought after Keynsham roadworks are stopped

erh logoQuestions were being asked today about why contractors have downed tools on roadworks in Keynsham and Bath.

Yate-based construction firm ERH Group has been carrying out works for B&NES Council as part of the redevelopment of Keynsham town centre, as well as for the Newbridge Park & Ride extension in Bath, the Widcombe Parade diversion and improvements on the London Road in the city. The Keynsham project is worth £540,000.

The ERH Group, one of the country’s leading privately owned construction, communication, technology and civil engineering contractors, is understood to be preparing a statement to the media about the situation.

Conservative councillors today said they are asking “searching questions” of the Liberal Democrat-run authority to find out how the delays might affect the future of transport projects. They want to know how long the delays could last, whether any prior warning of the stoppage was given by ERH, whether there will be any additional cost to the council because of the delays, if any other planned projects will be affected and what contingency plans are in place to get work restarted as quickly as possible.

Conservative shadow transport spokesman Cllr Anthony Clarke said: “Clearly this unexpected halt in work to so many of the council’s major transport projects is highly alarming for residents.

“We’re seeking urgent answers to a number of questions we have about the situation, not least when work is likely to re-start and what contingency plans the council has in place for this sort of eventuality.  We simply can’t have a situation where so many important road schemes are left half-finished over the Christmas period.

“There are also clearly questions to be asked about what monitoring and checks have been undertaken by the council of the work undertaken so far, and why the council has put so many eggs into one basket by granting so many important contracts to a single contractor.

“The council needs to provide as full an explanation as possible as quickly as possible.”

A council spokesperson told The Week In this afternoon: “The council is liaising with ERH Group to establish exactly what the situation is and to ensure that the works will continue.”