Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson MSP Mike Rumbles has today called for the Scottish Government to come clean on the potential cost overrun for the AWPR and tell the public what the final bill would be, as the Transport Secretary again refused to divulge the information citing reasons of "commercial sensitivity".
In response to a Parliamentary Question from Mr Rumbles asking for the value of additional claims submitted by contractors, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport said that "these are commercially sensitive matters, and it would be inappropriate to discuss the detail."
This response comes despite contractors telling a meeting of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee on 5th December, that the total cost of building the road could be as much as £1 billion, £250 million over the value of the supposed fixed-price contract.
Mr Rumbles said:
“The Scottish Government is shamelessly trying to hide its incompetence behind claims that information about the cost of the project is a matter of commercial sensitivity. The contractors themselves admitted, in public, that the road had cost far more than originally planned and that they had submitted a bill for up to an extra £250 million.
“That the Cabinet Secretary thinks that he can get away with such a blatant attempt to cover-up the figures is outrageous.
“Over the past 18 months, every one of the Scottish Government efforts to conceal delays to the project has failed. It’s time for Ministers to come clean and provide a full breakdown of the claims being made and the potential cost to the taxpayer.”
Notes for editors:
- 22 January 2019 Index Heading: Transport Scotland:
Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland) (Scottish Liberal Democrats): To ask the Scottish Government how many claims for cost overrun it has received from contractors for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) project, broken down by the total value of these. S5W-20830
Michael Matheson: I have already confirmed to Parliament that Aberdeen Roads Limited has submitted a substantial claim regarding this project. These are commercially sensitive matters, and it would be inappropriate to discuss the detail.