Completion of work on Abbey Bridge in Evesham put back again

Cotswold Journal: Bridge delayed again - now it's next year Bridge delayed again - now it's next year

THE saga of Evesham’s bridge closure took another turn for the worse this week as traders were told work won’t finish until at least the new year.

The latest delay to the Abbey Bridge rebuilding project, initially scheduled to finish last month, has been branded “bitterly disappointing and totally unacceptable” by council bosses.

The original deadline was extended until December 20 but this has now been put back, with contractors Hochtief blaming high river levels and strong winds.

“News of this further delay to the opening of the Abbey Bridge and viaduct from the contractor Hochtief is bitterly disappointing and totally unacceptable, bearing in mind that it has been just a couple of weeks since they gave December 20 as the reopening date,” said Councillor John Smith, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for highways.

“At this stage, Hochtief has not confirmed a date for reopening the bridge but the county council is in urgent discussions with the contractor to get it open as soon as possible in the new year.

“Every day that goes by over the agreed closure period is having an impact on our town and its traders and we, the county council, will be challenging Hochtief to do all it can to keep these further delays to an absolute minimum.”

The news comes as The Journal teams up with Evesham Market Town Partnership, Hochtief, Wychavon District Council and Worcestershire County Council to give town traders much-needed support during the closure.

As well as our weekly Come in We’re Open campaign page and Meet Your Local Trader feature, providing coverage of a diverse array of businesses, over four weeks we are devoting four ‘wraparound’ pages to promoting Evesham as a vibrant shopping and visitor destination.

We are also providing free advertising in these special sections to give our town’s traders an extra boost during the festive period.

Hochtief said it regretted that that a number of “challenging issues” had caused major programme delays. 

“The team, suppliers and sub-contractors have worked tirelessly to minimise the closure window required to carry out this crucial phase of the works,” said the firm’s operations director Sean McCallion.

The firm said the problems included high river flows restricting marine movements, winds speeds “disabling crane usage” and unexpected conditions encountered during demolition of the old bridge.

Even before yesterday’s announcement, rumour of the delay was rife, but Tony Rowland, of the Vale of Evesham Commerce and Tourism Association, said: “We want people to continue supporting traders and look forward
to working with the county council to mitigate the loss by businesses.”

Aly Adlkish, of Avonside Motors in Abbey Lane, meanwhile, said his business
had suffered. He said: “We’ve lost all passing trade. It is only because of the support of our regular customers that we are still here.”

Comments (28)

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8:18pm Wed 4 Dec 13

saucerer says...

What an utter shambles from our pathetic highways department. Hochtief may be the contractor, but it seems clear that they were not project managed correctly or closely by the council's highway engineers and because of their failure to ensure the schedule was adhered to, Evesham is suffering, more so for many traders who can now write off any Christmas sales they were hoping for, while I won't be surprised if some businesses now go under due to sheer incompetence from the council. And with a project of this scale, why on earth was it not pencilled in for the start of the summer holidays when traffic volumes are reduced and where any potential overrun wouldn't impact upon the Christmas trade which so many businesses rely on.

I sincerely hope that the council staff responsible for their failings personally apologise to the the businesses and residents of Evesham, while heads should roll too. It's just one failing after another from the highways department, and yet I suspect they won't be worrying about not celebrating Christmas this year with their huge salaries. And the WN could do worse than to start exposing the long list on errors and mismanagement that emanate from the highways department.
What an utter shambles from our pathetic highways department. Hochtief may be the contractor, but it seems clear that they were not project managed correctly or closely by the council's highway engineers and because of their failure to ensure the schedule was adhered to, Evesham is suffering, more so for many traders who can now write off any Christmas sales they were hoping for, while I won't be surprised if some businesses now go under due to sheer incompetence from the council. And with a project of this scale, why on earth was it not pencilled in for the start of the summer holidays when traffic volumes are reduced and where any potential overrun wouldn't impact upon the Christmas trade which so many businesses rely on. I sincerely hope that the council staff responsible for their failings personally apologise to the the businesses and residents of Evesham, while heads should roll too. It's just one failing after another from the highways department, and yet I suspect they won't be worrying about not celebrating Christmas this year with their huge salaries. And the WN could do worse than to start exposing the long list on errors and mismanagement that emanate from the highways department. saucerer

8:50pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Moltaire says...

Utter and total incompetence. Those are the only words I can use to sum up the highways department's handling of this project. Last month they said the bridge would be open before Christmas, and then just a few weeks later they now say it won't reopen until next year, and they still can't give a date. As saucerer quite rightly says, it's just one ****-up after another from the highways department, people who we pay! As the council looks to find savings, this is one department that should face the axe and outsource highway services to the private sector as they'll do a far better job than those who are doing the job at the moment.
Utter and total incompetence. Those are the only words I can use to sum up the highways department's handling of this project. Last month they said the bridge would be open before Christmas, and then just a few weeks later they now say it won't reopen until next year, and they still can't give a date. As saucerer quite rightly says, it's just one ****-up after another from the highways department, people who we pay! As the council looks to find savings, this is one department that should face the axe and outsource highway services to the private sector as they'll do a far better job than those who are doing the job at the moment. Moltaire

8:56pm Wed 4 Dec 13

lilboo says...

This is an utter disgrace, to use he excuse of high winds and river levels for this is just insulting! I know that timescales and deadlines are non existent in local authority but sorry this doesn't cut it in the real world! I demand that someone from the county council comes on here and makes an assurance that the contractor concerned is removed from the Council's hallowed approved contractor list, following which heads in County Hall MUST roll for this! In case you can't see from your ivory tower in spetchley road councillors and Officers, this is people's livelihoods you are playing chicken with, and I for one hope they sue you for loss of earnings! It's the most lucrative time of year and you fail them spectacularly!
This is an utter disgrace, to use he excuse of high winds and river levels for this is just insulting! I know that timescales and deadlines are non existent in local authority but sorry this doesn't cut it in the real world! I demand that someone from the county council comes on here and makes an assurance that the contractor concerned is removed from the Council's hallowed approved contractor list, following which heads in County Hall MUST roll for this! In case you can't see from your ivory tower in spetchley road councillors and Officers, this is people's livelihoods you are playing chicken with, and I for one hope they sue you for loss of earnings! It's the most lucrative time of year and you fail them spectacularly! lilboo

9:00pm Wed 4 Dec 13

lilboo says...

Also I would like clarification that there is a penalty clause attached to this contract for late completion - this is the norm in the private sector but I wouldn't be surprised to find these cowboys get away scot free with their dreadful work due to incompetent tendering/commission
ing from County Hall
Also I would like clarification that there is a penalty clause attached to this contract for late completion - this is the norm in the private sector but I wouldn't be surprised to find these cowboys get away scot free with their dreadful work due to incompetent tendering/commission ing from County Hall lilboo

9:00pm Wed 4 Dec 13

GuilitySpark says...

An absolute shambles... No doubt WCC will receive compensation from hochtief and not a penny will go to help the traders who have suffered a loss of livelihood due to this balls up.
An absolute shambles... No doubt WCC will receive compensation from hochtief and not a penny will go to help the traders who have suffered a loss of livelihood due to this balls up. GuilitySpark

9:06pm Wed 4 Dec 13

WilkoJ says...

How many more times are we going to let Worcestershire county council's highways staff fail us? Are these highly paid people who are supposedly experts capable of doing anything right? All too often we keep hearing stories about a scheme that has gone wrong due to mismanagement, poor design or an error of judgement from the highways dept, all of which impacts adversely on people's lives and it's the public who have to pick up the pieces, and sadly Abbey Bridge is yet another example of their incompetence. I can't be the only one who is starting to lose patience with the highways department, yet I'm sure there'll be someone who'll post a comment attempting to defend them and justify their mistakes.

Those on hear who have called for heads to roll are spot on, and lilboo's suggestion that that staff should be sued is also spot on, though staff should be personally sued as it's their individual inabilities that have caused this problem.
How many more times are we going to let Worcestershire county council's highways staff fail us? Are these highly paid people who are supposedly experts capable of doing anything right? All too often we keep hearing stories about a scheme that has gone wrong due to mismanagement, poor design or an error of judgement from the highways dept, all of which impacts adversely on people's lives and it's the public who have to pick up the pieces, and sadly Abbey Bridge is yet another example of their incompetence. I can't be the only one who is starting to lose patience with the highways department, yet I'm sure there'll be someone who'll post a comment attempting to defend them and justify their mistakes. Those on hear who have called for heads to roll are spot on, and lilboo's suggestion that that staff should be sued is also spot on, though staff should be personally sued as it's their individual inabilities that have caused this problem. WilkoJ

9:09pm Wed 4 Dec 13

WilkoJ says...

I hope those in charge of the highways dept are reading these comments and have a suitably prepared excuse to try and justify this latest failing. Mr Hobbs (Director of Environmental Services) and Mr Blake (Head of Integrated Transport), I hope you take personal responsibility as well as discipline or dismiss the staff who were working on this project. I just hope it's not the usual suspects like Mr Fraser or Mr Fullee otherwise their legacy of failure continues.
I hope those in charge of the highways dept are reading these comments and have a suitably prepared excuse to try and justify this latest failing. Mr Hobbs (Director of Environmental Services) and Mr Blake (Head of Integrated Transport), I hope you take personal responsibility as well as discipline or dismiss the staff who were working on this project. I just hope it's not the usual suspects like Mr Fraser or Mr Fullee otherwise their legacy of failure continues. WilkoJ

9:09pm Wed 4 Dec 13

asumabstainer says...

Think Evesham Journal is in cloud cuckoo land if it describes the town as a vibrant shopping & visitor destination( of course the Journals` local office is in Worcester!) County Council & its elected members should hang their heads in shame at this totally shambolic & embarassing turn of events.
Its about time the future of Evesham was given back to the townspeople & NOT decided by bureaucrats in glass towers.
Think Evesham Journal is in cloud cuckoo land if it describes the town as a vibrant shopping & visitor destination( of course the Journals` local office is in Worcester!) County Council & its elected members should hang their heads in shame at this totally shambolic & embarassing turn of events. Its about time the future of Evesham was given back to the townspeople & NOT decided by bureaucrats in glass towers. asumabstainer

9:28pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Lolalandy says...

Perhaps someone could gently remind Hochteif that maybe they could've factored in the weather conditions (they're working during autumn) and the river levels (they're re-constructing a bridge over the river Avon)

Just a thought... How many bridge building engineers does it take to change a lightbulb? Twenty six. One to get the stool and twenty five to work out what the weather conditions might be, elevated at a height of ten inches.
Perhaps someone could gently remind Hochteif that maybe they could've factored in the weather conditions (they're working during autumn) and the river levels (they're re-constructing a bridge over the river Avon) Just a thought... How many bridge building engineers does it take to change a lightbulb? Twenty six. One to get the stool and twenty five to work out what the weather conditions might be, elevated at a height of ten inches. Lolalandy

9:29pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Redhillman says...

Worcestershire county council's highways department, you really are a disgrace and an embarrassment. You are a department staffed by overpaid imbeciles who seem incapable of doing anything correctly or with common sense, while you show utter contempt and disregard to the public who you are employed to serve. And we all have to suffer from your constant failings. It is now time for a wholesale change otherwise we will continue to hear more reports of incompetence from the highways department.
Worcestershire county council's highways department, you really are a disgrace and an embarrassment. You are a department staffed by overpaid imbeciles who seem incapable of doing anything correctly or with common sense, while you show utter contempt and disregard to the public who you are employed to serve. And we all have to suffer from your constant failings. It is now time for a wholesale change otherwise we will continue to hear more reports of incompetence from the highways department. Redhillman

9:53pm Wed 4 Dec 13

adc1960 says...

2 things have possibly happened - either the council have spectacularly mismanaged this or they have been economical with the truth......personall
y i think the head of the highways department and councillor smith should do the decent thing and resign - its a question of taking responsibility - i don't think the council know how to..........this sort of performance would not be tolerated (rightly) in the private sector........why should the public sector be immune?
2 things have possibly happened - either the council have spectacularly mismanaged this or they have been economical with the truth......personall y i think the head of the highways department and councillor smith should do the decent thing and resign - its a question of taking responsibility - i don't think the council know how to..........this sort of performance would not be tolerated (rightly) in the private sector........why should the public sector be immune? adc1960

9:54pm Wed 4 Dec 13

PrivateSi says...

A SAGA! Makes Lord of Ring Roads seem concise...
A SAGA! Makes Lord of Ring Roads seem concise... PrivateSi

10:31pm Wed 4 Dec 13

saucerer says...

If the level of ineptitude, waste and mismanagement displayed by the highways department featured in any other public sector service or the private sector, a public inquiry would be held. But you watch, nothing will happen with the highways staff and they will once again get away with it. It's scandalous.
If the level of ineptitude, waste and mismanagement displayed by the highways department featured in any other public sector service or the private sector, a public inquiry would be held. But you watch, nothing will happen with the highways staff and they will once again get away with it. It's scandalous. saucerer

10:40pm Wed 4 Dec 13

CYNIC_AL says...

Why does it take so long to do anything in this country? Roadworks, refurbs, building projects etc. In China they'd have demolished the old bridge and built a new one in it's place within a fortnight...
Why does it take so long to do anything in this country? Roadworks, refurbs, building projects etc. In China they'd have demolished the old bridge and built a new one in it's place within a fortnight... CYNIC_AL

12:03am Thu 5 Dec 13

scolesy says...

And Just what did the Romans DO for US????
Could build a bloody bridge a lot better then this lot!!
And have fancy carving's all around...........
And Just what did the Romans DO for US???? Could build a bloody bridge a lot better then this lot!! And have fancy carving's all around........... scolesy

12:09am Thu 5 Dec 13

scolesy says...

Seems to be an alot of steel above and not toooo much under ,,,Is it the game plan, come back next year to do the road again??? MMMMmm,,,,some ones made and going to make a lot of money!!!
Seems to be an alot of steel above and not toooo much under ,,,Is it the game plan, come back next year to do the road again??? MMMMmm,,,,some ones made and going to make a lot of money!!! scolesy

7:17am Thu 5 Dec 13

green49 says...

Its down to the Highways to sort it, i think John Smith should resign or get sacked, it is an absolute joke of a department and this is just another fine mess to add to the big list they have already got.
Its down to the Highways to sort it, i think John Smith should resign or get sacked, it is an absolute joke of a department and this is just another fine mess to add to the big list they have already got. green49

9:09am Thu 5 Dec 13

reflector says...

Just heard Coun Smith interviewed on the radio. Once again, he claims not to know about any penalty clauses in the contract as "Councillors don't get involved in these things."

Serious questions arise. First is why not? Surely this is a crucial part of any contract and if Councillors really don't know, what are they getting paid for?

Secondly, he was asked the same question some weeks ago so why on earth hasn't he asked the question in the intervening time?

It's the usual attitude of most of our councillors. Take the credit, if things go right but pass the buck ("not me guv"), when things go wrong. Little wonder people don't bother to vote for these nonentities.
Just heard Coun Smith interviewed on the radio. Once again, he claims not to know about any penalty clauses in the contract as "Councillors don't get involved in these things." Serious questions arise. First is why not? Surely this is a crucial part of any contract and if Councillors really don't know, what are they getting paid for? Secondly, he was asked the same question some weeks ago so why on earth hasn't he asked the question in the intervening time? It's the usual attitude of most of our councillors. Take the credit, if things go right but pass the buck ("not me guv"), when things go wrong. Little wonder people don't bother to vote for these nonentities. reflector

9:13am Thu 5 Dec 13

reflector says...

adc1960 wrote:
2 things have possibly happened - either the council have spectacularly mismanaged this or they have been economical with the truth......personall y i think the head of the highways department and councillor smith should do the decent thing and resign - its a question of taking responsibility - i don't think the council know how to..........this sort of performance would not be tolerated (rightly) in the private sector........why should the public sector be immune?
I don't disagree with the principle but the contractors ARE in the private sector so are you suggesting that their MD should resign, too?
[quote][p][bold]adc1960[/bold] wrote: 2 things have possibly happened - either the council have spectacularly mismanaged this or they have been economical with the truth......personall y i think the head of the highways department and councillor smith should do the decent thing and resign - its a question of taking responsibility - i don't think the council know how to..........this sort of performance would not be tolerated (rightly) in the private sector........why should the public sector be immune?[/p][/quote]I don't disagree with the principle but the contractors ARE in the private sector so are you suggesting that their MD should resign, too? reflector

10:56am Thu 5 Dec 13

WJS1950 says...

I can't say this news surprises me based on the track record of the highways department. They somehow have a great ability to create havoc and deliver misguided and mismanaged schemes. As far as I can recall, their list of errors in the past few years are:

1) Wrong colour on Upton Bridge
2) Unwanted bus lanes in Worcester, with the one at the bottom of Newtown Road being a hazard
3) Rising bollards that don't rise
4) Whittington roundabout that is dangerous, to the point where changes needed to be made weeks after
5) Wrong chippings specified for surface dressing this year in Worcester
6) Car park signs which tell you how many spaces there are when you're a mile away, plus they don't tell you where the car parks are
7) Park & Ride that they've finally admitted has been a failure
8) Wrong materials specified for Worcester High Street, so it was replaced after only 6 years use
9) Lowesmoor roadworks which overran by weeks, having an affect on businesses
10) Poorly judged and designed zebra crossings in Worcester that create a hazard to pedestrians
11) Lights along the River Severn in Worcester that kept malfunctioning because of incorrect specification
12) And now Abbey Bridge

All those list of failures have seen thousands of pounds of tax-payer's money being wasted, while it's cost thousands more to try and put some of these failures right. Yet, I have no doubt that that list could go on.

Someone in the highways department must become publicly accountable for all these errors and explain themselves, while I support any calls for heads to roll in this department, including the director, head of integrate transport and councillor John Smith. In fact, the residents and businesses of Evesham should form a petition of no confidence in councillor Smith and demand his immediate resignation from the council. It's just one thing after another from the idiots in the highways department.
I can't say this news surprises me based on the track record of the highways department. They somehow have a great ability to create havoc and deliver misguided and mismanaged schemes. As far as I can recall, their list of errors in the past few years are: 1) Wrong colour on Upton Bridge 2) Unwanted bus lanes in Worcester, with the one at the bottom of Newtown Road being a hazard 3) Rising bollards that don't rise 4) Whittington roundabout that is dangerous, to the point where changes needed to be made weeks after 5) Wrong chippings specified for surface dressing this year in Worcester 6) Car park signs which tell you how many spaces there are when you're a mile away, plus they don't tell you where the car parks are 7) Park & Ride that they've finally admitted has been a failure 8) Wrong materials specified for Worcester High Street, so it was replaced after only 6 years use 9) Lowesmoor roadworks which overran by weeks, having an affect on businesses 10) Poorly judged and designed zebra crossings in Worcester that create a hazard to pedestrians 11) Lights along the River Severn in Worcester that kept malfunctioning because of incorrect specification 12) And now Abbey Bridge All those list of failures have seen thousands of pounds of tax-payer's money being wasted, while it's cost thousands more to try and put some of these failures right. Yet, I have no doubt that that list could go on. Someone in the highways department must become publicly accountable for all these errors and explain themselves, while I support any calls for heads to roll in this department, including the director, head of integrate transport and councillor John Smith. In fact, the residents and businesses of Evesham should form a petition of no confidence in councillor Smith and demand his immediate resignation from the council. It's just one thing after another from the idiots in the highways department. WJS1950

8:39pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Paul from NCCR says...

Not good news but it needs reporting. I will report the delay by including it as a news item during Laid-Back Music Show on NCCR Monday evening 8pm.
To listen go to www.nccr.co.uk and click on listen live.
Not good news but it needs reporting. I will report the delay by including it as a news item during Laid-Back Music Show on NCCR Monday evening 8pm. To listen go to www.nccr.co.uk and click on listen live. Paul from NCCR

8:40pm Thu 5 Dec 13

aLurker says...

So now we're told "work won’t finish until at least the new year. ... Hochtief blaming high river levels and strong winds."

High river level? My house is by the river. In 2007 the river was in my house so I keep an eye on levels - this year they have been low!
But don't take my word for it. The Environment Agency keep records of river levels:
"The river level at Evesham is 0.54 metres. This measurement was recorded at 11:00 on 05/12/2013. The typical river level range for this location is between 0.46 metres and 1.90 metres."
For a longer period try riverlevels.info, the highest level in the last month was 1.16m.

Wind speeds? I don't remember sustained periods of unseasonally high winds recently.
But don't take my word for it. Wind speeds from the Pershore weather station are on line. The 2011 average at www.tutiempo.net is 13.5 km/h, the 2011 maximum was 79.5 km/h. The past 18 days 3pm windspeeds are at weather-forecast.com - it was never over 20 km/h, on 15 of those days it did not exceed 15 km/h.

So river levels and wind speeds were no higher than Hochtief should have expected and planned for.

This isn't the first time Hochtief have not allowed for normal weather. On 13 November the Journal reported "THE Abbey Bridge rebuilding project is three weeks behind schedule ... Seasonal weather ... blamed". The Oxford Dictionary says that seasonal means "characteristic of season of the year", there is no excuse for a schedule not allowing for it.

Councillor John Smith ... said he was disappointed with the delay and “The news from Hochtief came as a real surprise". He is one of the very few to be surpised. In March when a 12 week delay was reported Councillor Smith said: “He (the Hochtief engineer) said it was about a 12-week delay. Yes they may be behind but who’s to say they can’t catch up? “We will do all we can to keep it on schedule. The bridge will not be closed for Christmas." For months it has been clear from even cursory observation that the time scales - even after extension of several months - would not be met. There is no excuse for Councillor Smith's surprise.

Hochtief blame their failure to meet targets on weather which has actually been favourable. Do they think we're as stupid as the councillors and officers who are meant to be overseeing this project?

Hochtief may be directly responsible, but councillors are responsible for council officers who are responsible for negotiation and managing contracts such as these. Hochtief have failed, but so have public employees and representatives. Heads should roll at all three levels!
So now we're told "work won’t finish until at least the new year. ... Hochtief blaming high river levels and strong winds." High river level? My house is by the river. In 2007 the river was in my house so I keep an eye on levels - this year they have been low! But don't take my word for it. The Environment Agency keep records of river levels: "The river level at Evesham is 0.54 metres. This measurement was recorded at 11:00 on 05/12/2013. The typical river level range for this location is between 0.46 metres and 1.90 metres." For a longer period try riverlevels.info, the highest level in the last month was 1.16m. Wind speeds? I don't remember sustained periods of unseasonally high winds recently. But don't take my word for it. Wind speeds from the Pershore weather station are on line. The 2011 average at www.tutiempo.net is 13.5 km/h, the 2011 maximum was 79.5 km/h. The past 18 days 3pm windspeeds are at weather-forecast.com - it was never over 20 km/h, on 15 of those days it did not exceed 15 km/h. So river levels and wind speeds were no higher than Hochtief should have expected and planned for. This isn't the first time Hochtief have not allowed for normal weather. On 13 November the Journal reported [Dismay as Evesham bridge is delayed for three weeks] "THE Abbey Bridge rebuilding project is three weeks behind schedule ... Seasonal weather ... blamed". The Oxford Dictionary says that seasonal means "characteristic of [the] season of the year", there is no excuse for a schedule not allowing for it. Councillor John Smith ... said he was disappointed with the delay and “The news from Hochtief came as a real surprise". He is one of the very few to be surpised. In March when a 12 week delay was reported [Journal 28 March, Fears over delay to full bridge closure] Councillor Smith said: “He (the Hochtief engineer) said it was about a 12-week delay. Yes they may be behind but who’s to say they can’t catch up? “We will do all we can to keep it on schedule. The bridge will not be closed for Christmas." For months it has been clear from even cursory observation that the time scales - even after extension of several months - would not be met. There is no excuse for Councillor Smith's surprise. Hochtief blame their failure to meet targets on weather which has actually been favourable. Do they think we're as stupid as the councillors and officers who are meant to be overseeing this project? Hochtief may be directly responsible, but councillors are responsible for council officers who are responsible for negotiation and managing contracts such as these. Hochtief have failed, but so have public employees and representatives. Heads should roll at all three levels! aLurker

12:46pm Fri 6 Dec 13

aLurker says...

reflector wrote:
adc1960 wrote:
2 things have possibly happened - either the council have spectacularly mismanaged this or they have been economical with the truth......personall y i think the head of the highways department and councillor smith should do the decent thing and resign - its a question of taking responsibility - i don't think the council know how to..........this sort of performance would not be tolerated (rightly) in the private sector........why should the public sector be immune?
I don't disagree with the principle but the contractors ARE in the private sector so are you suggesting that their MD should resign, too?
Hochtief's MD is responsible to his shareholders, not (directly) to the electorate. However, Hochtief's failure to meet targets should incur a financial penalty which shareholders should take into account when considering the MD's future and remuneration.
If there is no financial penalty for failure, then councillors and/or council officers are at fault. They are responsible to the electorate.
[quote][p][bold]reflector[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]adc1960[/bold] wrote: 2 things have possibly happened - either the council have spectacularly mismanaged this or they have been economical with the truth......personall y i think the head of the highways department and councillor smith should do the decent thing and resign - its a question of taking responsibility - i don't think the council know how to..........this sort of performance would not be tolerated (rightly) in the private sector........why should the public sector be immune?[/p][/quote]I don't disagree with the principle but the contractors ARE in the private sector so are you suggesting that their MD should resign, too?[/p][/quote]Hochtief's MD is responsible to his shareholders, not (directly) to the electorate. However, Hochtief's failure to meet targets should incur a financial penalty which shareholders should take into account when considering the MD's future and remuneration. If there is no financial penalty for failure, then councillors and/or council officers are at fault. They are responsible to the electorate. aLurker

7:09pm Fri 6 Dec 13

Assassin1 says...

What an absolute joke!! Strong winds? We had about two days of wind and to say the river levels are high makes me chuckle slightly!

Here's a little tip to get the bridge done a little quicker - STOP standing around talking - some of those blokes are getting top dollar for this project and while I appreciate them being away from their families, progression would happen a lot quicker if they weren't stood around chatting!!

Another laughable thing is that we are still going to get a minimum 2% council tax increase while Hochtief and the council fill their pockets!

Merry Xmas to the people of Evesham - Lots of love The Council and Hochtief!!
What an absolute joke!! Strong winds? We had about two days of wind and to say the river levels are high makes me chuckle slightly! Here's a little tip to get the bridge done a little quicker - STOP standing around talking - some of those blokes are getting top dollar for this project and while I appreciate them being away from their families, progression would happen a lot quicker if they weren't stood around chatting!! Another laughable thing is that we are still going to get a minimum 2% council tax increase while Hochtief and the council fill their pockets! Merry Xmas to the people of Evesham - Lots of love The Council and Hochtief!! Assassin1

8:41am Sat 7 Dec 13

copierman says...

Most of us in Worcestershire when we go across the many river bridges have a sideways glance at the river below and think to ourselves " river level looks low today"
So were do these contractors on the Evesham bridge get this reason for high river levels as a excuse for the delays?
The river levels have not been high for some time.
Most of us in Worcestershire when we go across the many river bridges have a sideways glance at the river below and think to ourselves " river level looks low today" So were do these contractors on the Evesham bridge get this reason for high river levels as a excuse for the delays? The river levels have not been high for some time. copierman

2:24pm Sun 8 Dec 13

DEMRICS says...

WJS1950 wrote:
I can't say this news surprises me based on the track record of the highways department. They somehow have a great ability to create havoc and deliver misguided and mismanaged schemes. As far as I can recall, their list of errors in the past few years are:

1) Wrong colour on Upton Bridge
2) Unwanted bus lanes in Worcester, with the one at the bottom of Newtown Road being a hazard
3) Rising bollards that don't rise
4) Whittington roundabout that is dangerous, to the point where changes needed to be made weeks after
5) Wrong chippings specified for surface dressing this year in Worcester
6) Car park signs which tell you how many spaces there are when you're a mile away, plus they don't tell you where the car parks are
7) Park & Ride that they've finally admitted has been a failure
8) Wrong materials specified for Worcester High Street, so it was replaced after only 6 years use
9) Lowesmoor roadworks which overran by weeks, having an affect on businesses
10) Poorly judged and designed zebra crossings in Worcester that create a hazard to pedestrians
11) Lights along the River Severn in Worcester that kept malfunctioning because of incorrect specification
12) And now Abbey Bridge

All those list of failures have seen thousands of pounds of tax-payer's money being wasted, while it's cost thousands more to try and put some of these failures right. Yet, I have no doubt that that list could go on.

Someone in the highways department must become publicly accountable for all these errors and explain themselves, while I support any calls for heads to roll in this department, including the director, head of integrate transport and councillor John Smith. In fact, the residents and businesses of Evesham should form a petition of no confidence in councillor Smith and demand his immediate resignation from the council. It's just one thing after another from the idiots in the highways department.
These examples are but a few but clearly exemplify the poor performance continually displayed by Worcestershire's highways department. It is beyond doubt that staff should be held publicly accountable, while heads need to roll and this should start with the immediate resignation of County Councillor John Smith who has presided over even more incompetence from the highways department than his predecessor achieved. The residents of Evesham should not let matters rest until Mr Smith is gone.
[quote][p][bold]WJS1950[/bold] wrote: I can't say this news surprises me based on the track record of the highways department. They somehow have a great ability to create havoc and deliver misguided and mismanaged schemes. As far as I can recall, their list of errors in the past few years are: 1) Wrong colour on Upton Bridge 2) Unwanted bus lanes in Worcester, with the one at the bottom of Newtown Road being a hazard 3) Rising bollards that don't rise 4) Whittington roundabout that is dangerous, to the point where changes needed to be made weeks after 5) Wrong chippings specified for surface dressing this year in Worcester 6) Car park signs which tell you how many spaces there are when you're a mile away, plus they don't tell you where the car parks are 7) Park & Ride that they've finally admitted has been a failure 8) Wrong materials specified for Worcester High Street, so it was replaced after only 6 years use 9) Lowesmoor roadworks which overran by weeks, having an affect on businesses 10) Poorly judged and designed zebra crossings in Worcester that create a hazard to pedestrians 11) Lights along the River Severn in Worcester that kept malfunctioning because of incorrect specification 12) And now Abbey Bridge All those list of failures have seen thousands of pounds of tax-payer's money being wasted, while it's cost thousands more to try and put some of these failures right. Yet, I have no doubt that that list could go on. Someone in the highways department must become publicly accountable for all these errors and explain themselves, while I support any calls for heads to roll in this department, including the director, head of integrate transport and councillor John Smith. In fact, the residents and businesses of Evesham should form a petition of no confidence in councillor Smith and demand his immediate resignation from the council. It's just one thing after another from the idiots in the highways department.[/p][/quote]These examples are but a few but clearly exemplify the poor performance continually displayed by Worcestershire's highways department. It is beyond doubt that staff should be held publicly accountable, while heads need to roll and this should start with the immediate resignation of County Councillor John Smith who has presided over even more incompetence from the highways department than his predecessor achieved. The residents of Evesham should not let matters rest until Mr Smith is gone. DEMRICS

2:29pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Maelstrom says...

I’d be very surprised if Councillor Smith did the right thing and resigned. Like so many politicians at varying levels they are in it for themselves, knowing **** well they will be elected by the idiots that always vote for them! The people of Great Hampton Ward need to remember the bridge fiasco next time there is an election!
I’d be very surprised if Councillor Smith did the right thing and resigned. Like so many politicians at varying levels they are in it for themselves, knowing **** well they will be elected by the idiots that always vote for them! The people of Great Hampton Ward need to remember the bridge fiasco next time there is an election! Maelstrom

4:48pm Mon 9 Dec 13

tangoed says...

Sorry folks -- but no one will resign, they all blame one another but no one has the guts to say "I have let you down and failed in my responsabilities".
To now be told that the project coul dbe another 12 weeks--the maths dont stack up. First `14th Dec then told 3 weeks behind so we go to 20Dec --well 14 and 21 days takes us into January --so where did 20th december come from. Now its indicated end of February so that s a toatl of 12 weeks--Someone is NOT TELLING US THE TRUTH>
Sorry folks -- but no one will resign, they all blame one another but no one has the guts to say "I have let you down and failed in my responsabilities". To now be told that the project coul dbe another 12 weeks--the maths dont stack up. First `14th Dec then told 3 weeks behind so we go to 20Dec --well 14 and 21 days takes us into January --so where did 20th december come from. Now its indicated end of February so that s a toatl of 12 weeks--Someone is NOT TELLING US THE TRUTH> tangoed

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