The ongoing issue of the costs of the Longdendale Bypass was raised in the House of Commons yesterday.
Answering questions on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly, the Parliamentary Under Secretary Tom Harris revealed the following (emphasis added):
The A57/A628 Mottram Tintwistle bypass public inquiry started in June 2007. Since award of contract in August 2004 the scheme has incurred costs of £15,000,000. This includes design costs for the scheme, publication of draft orders, preparation and publication of the environmental statement, traffic modelling, legal costs, Highways Agency staff costs and the public inquiry. The specific costs for the public inquiry itself are not recorded separately.
Naturally, we're slightly suspicious about such a nice round figure like that. But if we accept that it's accurate, then it means that £1.2 million has been spent in the last 7 months. It's also way behind our counter which you'll find at the top of this blog, which was based upon the cost accruals in the latest period for which data was available. We may have to adjust it, as we promised we would, but in the meantime, we'll prefer to await the release of proper fully-documented information.
There's not really much else left to say that hasn't been said before, so perhaps we should await the obligatory press articles which will follow, much as Roy Oldham awaits the call from the banker...
No deal methinks.