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The EDP says...Questions to answer over £25.6m extra cost of NDR

People using parts of the NDR that are open to traffic.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

People using parts of the NDR that are open to traffic. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

While many drivers will breathe a sigh of relief at the opening of the first section new Northern Distributor Road (NDR), others might be giving a sigh of despair at the overall money spent.

People using parts of the NDR that are open to traffic.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPeople using parts of the NDR that are open to traffic. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Most people realise that major infrastructure projects that boost the area come at a cost.

While it is also desirable to keep projects on - or even under - budget, many people understand that unforeseen problems can push the overall price tag up.

In the case of the NDR, it can be argued that the £3.8m design changes to make the ground stable couldn’t be avoided.

But when a £205m total bill comes in, people are also legitimate to question the money spent and the overall financial management of the project.

People using parts of the NDR that are open to traffic.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPeople using parts of the NDR that are open to traffic. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

£205m not only works out at £16.5m per mile, it is £25.6m more than taxpayers had been told to expect.

The way local government budgets are managed mean that extra cash hasn’t directly affected the funding for libraries, adult social care and all the other services Norfolk County Council provide.

But the huge cost does affect the authority’s overall financial position, so people are right to ask whether that money could have been spent on other vital public services.

Whatever your view, it is certainly disappointing to only hear about those extra costs now. Surely the project managers must have known earlier that more money needed to be spent?

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