Alun Griffiths walks off £57m Banwell bypass job


Civil engineering company Alun Griffiths Contractors has walked away from the £57 million Banwell bypass scheme “without warning”, according to North Somerset Council. 

Credit: North Somerset Council.

The news comes less than a month after the Secretary of State approved Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) needed to build the scheme, which has been beset by delays due to costs. 

The contractor had been putting in the enabling works ahead of the bypass’ main construction beginning in the Spring. 

Council leader, councillor Mike Bell, said the withdrawal was “unexpected and unprecedented”, adding the authority was talking to Homes England about a solution, whose Housing Infrastructure Fund part funded the £90 million scheme. 

Alun Griffiths was approached for comment. 

“Alun Griffiths joined the bypass team in 2021, so it is incredibly frustrating for them to pull out without warning just as they were getting spades in the ground,” said Cllr Bell.  

“This is unexpected and unprecedented news, and we feel both let down and disappointed, as I’m sure many residents will too. 

“Despite challenges created by Griffiths’ decision, I’d like to reassure residents that the council remains committed to the bypass and that we are working closely with partners at Homes England to understand next steps and solutions. 

“The Banwell bypass is an important scheme for us, and, over the past two years, we have made more progress towards making it a reality than anyone in the century since it was first proposed.  

“This includes designing the scheme in collaboration with local residents, overcoming financial pressures and successfully securing planning permission and Compulsory Purchase Orders.   

“Not only would the bypass remove long-standing and intolerable congestion from Banwell, but the wider scheme includes miles of walking and cycling tracks, as well as a substantial bio-diversity net gain.  

“The bypass is also key to unlocking future housing sites, which are vital in seizing the opportunities presented by regional growth.  

“As ever, we are focussing our efforts on moving this top-quality scheme forward and delivering for our communities, working alongside partners and doing all we can to get back on track and back on site soon.” 

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