Concern about inflation on £68.8m Kex Gill road scheme
Last updated Sep 13, 2023
Kex Gill
The A59 at Kex Gill

Concerns have been raised about what impact inflation might have on the overall cost of the A59 Kex Gill new road scheme between Harrogate and Skipton.

Council officials first said the Department for Transport-funded scheme would cost £61.6 million but this rose to £68.8m last year due to inflationary costs, with the council covering the £7.2m shortfall from its reserves.

Since last summer, inflation has remained high and at a meeting of North Yorkshire Council’s Skipton and Ripon area constituency committee last week, Andrew Murday, the Liberal Democrat councillor for Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale,  asked Julian Smith, the Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon, who would pick up the bill should costs increase again.

Cllr Murday said:

“One can assume a fair amount of overspend on that project due to cost of raw materials.

“Can we have an explanation on how that overspend might be met?”

In response, Mr Smith said he had not heard about any overspend.

He added:

“I was focused on getting that money locked down which it was earlier in the year.

“I haven’t had representation from the council that more money is required.”

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service after the meeting, Cllr Murday said inflation should be a “worry” as construction on the new road progresses.

He said:

“Projects do overrun. There is wage inflation for the people who work there, the cost of raw materials, stone and energy requirements.

“I don’t know how much of that was taken into account when the money was awarded.

“It’s worth worrying about the increase in costs and how they are going to be met.”

A North Yorkshire Council spokesperson said the project is not currently running over budget.

Last month, contractors completed clearing an area next to the A59 between Harrogate and Skipton ahead of building a new three-mile stretch of road.

The A59 is a key link for North Yorkshire but the section that includes Kex Gill has had a long history of landslips which has caused lenghty diversions for motorists and extra costs for the council.

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