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Who pays for screw up, council or contractor
notmeatloaf
post Fri, 19 Jan 2018 - 21:59
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Hi all,

Long time no see.

After a bit of advice for some idle curiosity.

My local council have got a contractor (Skanska) to put in a new cycle lane along about 1km of road.

Honestly it is pretty shoddy and I managed to go arse over tit on it just before Christmas on kerbing running along it which is meant to be flush but turns out has about a 1 inch height difference all along it. The kerb has to be crossed because the council has made the bus stops "shared spaces" where the bus stop is in the middle of the cycle path so you either share your space with a metal pole, a bus queue, or duck onto the road.

Long story short after asking for the design specification and being refused I FOIed it and they send me a technical drawing about the size of a postage stamp and also their own cycling road design booklet which they helpfully told me "wasn't used" for this £12.5m scheme. Which is unsurprising, seeing as it isn't actually designed to any of their own rules.

I'm not interested in compensation but I am curious, bearing in mind unless they fudge it they will need to rip up all the tarmac and start again... who pays? My impression is the council haven't specified it properly/at all and even they think they are on the hook. But I'm not sure if there is some expectation for Skanska to know what they are doing as well. What they have put in isn't even close to meeting DDA standards for wheelchairs, forget a pushbike at 15mph.

Views much appreciated.
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post Fri, 19 Jan 2018 - 21:59
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kommando
post Sat, 20 Jan 2018 - 11:07
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The council wanted and ordered the cycle lane, they would have specified it and signed off after inspection that it met their requirements before settling the final bill. So sue the council.
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DancingDad
post Sat, 20 Jan 2018 - 11:10
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If you were looking for compensation, council 100%.

In more general terms like who fixes, chicken and egg.
I spent a large part of my working life sorting out disagreements between specification, contract and final result.
Often chicken in the middle cos no one wants to own up to something that will cost them money.

If spec was clear and contractor mucked up, they fix at their expense.
If spec was wrong, council pays to rectify/alter.
I would think that kerb not being flush would be contractor responsibility to fix but complaints should be to council, they are the organ grinders on this.
Poles and posts in way, possibly unclear or stupid spec. Complaints to council.

This post has been edited by DancingDad: Sat, 20 Jan 2018 - 21:37
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notmeatloaf
post Sat, 20 Jan 2018 - 21:31
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Oh, I'm not looking for compensation. I'm just genuinely interested because when the cabinet member for transport became involved a few days later they cancelled the next nine month section of work with six days notice saying they "wanted to look again at costs" in a £12.5m scheme which is already 60% complete.

It seems a "must be a story behind it" type thing as I'm sure there's a substantial cost in cancelling roadworks with six days notice, not only to the council but to bus companies, adjacent hospital, etc.

I'm trying to work out if it is just co-incidence, or if they are thinking they will have to pay for remedial works, or they think the design isn't watertight and want more time to check. It is like pulling teeth with them, the design isn't even close to standard but they keep saying they agree it one part is, but they think it is 10% closer to standard than I say. Like saying the cke is crap but they still think the icing is good.

Sometimes you just want them to say "Yes, we agree it's wrong, we're going to fix it" and stop buggering around.

This post has been edited by notmeatloaf: Sat, 20 Jan 2018 - 21:33
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mashman36
post Sun, 28 Jan 2018 - 21:53
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Or someone in the back office signs it off without looking at the spec or getting off the fat lazy arses and having a look!!
Just investigated a job that was signed completed when my team went in it was bodged but the contractor had already been paid and wouldn't return.
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notmeatloaf
post Wed, 31 Jan 2018 - 10:40
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QUOTE (mashman36 @ Sun, 28 Jan 2018 - 21:53) *
Or someone in the back office signs it off without looking at the spec or getting off the fat lazy arses and having a look!!
Just investigated a job that was signed completed when my team went in it was bodged but the contractor had already been paid and wouldn't return.

From what they sent me under FoI you get more detailed instructions for an IKEA cupboard. Maybe they have more that they would rather keep quiet.

I think the issue will be that the council contracted Skanska, who then contracted a local construction company. So presumably they will all blame each other.

Just to add to the fun there are already complaints in the local paper about vehicles using the cycle path as an extra lane at junctions not helped by the fact it is black tarmac so the delineation from the road is just a flat dark grey kerb. In fact, I don't think motorists are doing anything wrong unless they cut up a cyclist because there is no solid white line they cross.

Why the council can't just go to somewhere like London and copy their cycle path designs rather than making up their own I don't know.
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The Rookie
post Thu, 1 Feb 2018 - 07:15
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The council are liable, it’s their responsibility, they can claim from the contractor or ask you to, but it doesn’t remove their liability.

In my sons case the contractor contacted us on the request of the council and settled directly, but that was just expediency.


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notmeatloaf
post Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 16:16
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I should make clear I'm not really interested in claiming for my damages, although they are £173 I suspect I will derive £173 of pleasure from not having to deal with the council's claim process.

I'm more interested in if they have to put it right, how long it will take whilst they bicker about who pays for it. It's self interest only in that my choice at the moment is to cycle in the road and suffer ire from motorists wondering why I'm not using the brand new cycle path, or cycle on a path which is shoddy and dangerous.

(The slightly boring bit is the council have acknowledged that the kerbing should be flush or a maximum of 6mm upstand. I measure it as 26mm. They are arguing it is 23mm. I'm trying to get over to them I don't care about sodding 3mm when it's still four times what it should be even by their measurements.

Still I enjoy a good argument and this one is good value.)
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DancingDad
post Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 16:58
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Local media are often quite good on these things.
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notmeatloaf
post Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 17:49
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 16:58) *
Local media are often quite good on these things.

It's more fun watching the council squirm at the moment.
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