The infrastructure minister says there were over 900 defects identified throughout the work on Douglas promenade, many of which ‘remain outstanding’.

Chris Thomas was asked whether he considers the prom to be completed in the House of Keys this morning.

He said it was finished on March 1, 2022 but couldn’t give the cost of the work done as a final account is in the process of being agreed with the main contractor.

Mr Thomas added that its expected expenditure will be in line with capital provision, excluding costs incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic, which delayed work.

After Glenfaba and Peel MHK Tim Crookall gave examples of a number of places along the stretch that could be identified as trip hazards, Mr Thomas said over 900 defects had been notified through the contractual process.

‘Of these, there are many defects that remain outstanding and require financial assessment to facilitate their acceptance under the contract,’ he said.

‘A major point of discussion has been the red concrete, which is treated as a defect under the construction contract.

‘Discussions are ongoing with the expectation of reaching agreement.

‘If agreement cannot be reached then the department may initiate the arbitration procedures.’

Garff MHK Daphne Caine said she was ‘shocked’ to learn that the minister would consider the prom complete as the horse tram tracks still don’t run the full length of the prom.

She asked if additional funding is being sought for this, adding that the department had spent all of the funding set aside for the reinstatement of horse tramway on the highway pavements and crossings.

Mr Thomas said: ‘The single line section of tram track to sea terminal was removed from the Douglas promenade project in April 2020.

‘A separate project business case has been developed with options, I’ve seen it.

‘Funding through the budget process would be required but Tynwald’s fiscal position is tight at present.

‘I am unable to advise when that scheme may be brought forward.’

Mr Crookall referenced the minister’s promise in November he would return with a proposal regarding the horse trams.

‘There were substantial deliberations and discussions inside the department and with Treasury,’ Mr Crookall said.

‘I don’t have any fixed date on when the proposal will be taken forward.

‘I completely accept that any capital scheme needs planned maintenance.

‘We’re now planning the maintenance of the promenade alongside cleaning up the defects.’

He continued: ‘I think £750,000 has been talked in terms of the extension of the single tram track along the corridor that’s been left for that purpose, it’s much more than that but it will depend on the options that will be taken in terms of how that’s structured.’