Secklow Bridge delays cost taxpayer £355,000

Milton Keynes Council Civic Offices
Milton Keynes Council Civic Offices

Milton Keynes Council has said there will be ‘no unexpected cost to the taxpayer’ despite only receiving 75 per cent of costs back for keeping Secklow Gate Bridge closed.

It was revealed today that the cost of keeping the bridge closed for 18 months was in excess of £1 million.

Chief Executive David Hill said that £355,000 was set aside to cover the short-fall after the council’s insurance policy only covered £725,000 of the £1.079 million it cost to keep it closed between January 2010 and June 2011.

During the 18 months the bridge remained closed, the council spent £172,000 on traffic management and paid contractors Mouchel £107,000 in ‘project management’ fees.

Mr Hill said: “The delay in re-opening Secklow Gate Bridge – and the issues surrounding it – has been the subject of intense scrutiny by the public and media over the past three years, as well as being subject to internal and external reports.

“This episode uncovered some serious issues in how the council’s bridge maintenance contract was managed. A number of factors contributed to the delay in us re-opening the bridge, but we have acknowledged that failures were made and we have undertaken an intensive review of our internal processes, implementing substantial changes to ensure such failures are not repeated.

“We regret the delay in re-opening the bridge, but we are satisfied that it is now in good condition.”