If the July pizzle (that’s persistent drizzle to you) of this summer has got you down then this recent report in the Herald probably won’t help matters.
It confirms rumours that the £3.2million the council had budgeted to repair Leith Walk will not be enough to cover the costs of rectifying the alledgedly botched utility worlk that Carrillion carried out when the street was first dug up for the abandoned Leith section of the trams.
In that article the council officers say that they are considering legal action as fixing the problems left behind by the contractors could cost £1million. The article says:
…legal officers at City of Edinburgh Council have been asked to explore if any action can be taken against Carillion, the utility firm that won the contract to divert underground pipes and cables along the 11-mile original tram route from Edinburgh Airport to Newhaven Harbour.
Around £1 million is due to be spent employing a new contractor to repair faults and complete utility diversions on Leith Walk, mostly involving Scottish Water mains.
A senior council source said: “Councillors are aware that the utilities had not been done properly and we’re now looking at pursuing the people who originally did the work.”
The dispute has emerged as Edinburgh’s Labour/SNP coalition are considering increasing the £3.2m that was made available last year to restore Leith Walk to its pre-tram state and combining the reinstatement works with the utility repairs to cut down on disruption.
The corridor was left with temporary road surfaces and junctions in December 2009 when the initial utility work was completed ahead of the track-laying phase.
Lesley Hinds, the council’s transport convenor, said: “We want to make Leith Walk a thriving, attractive place for people who live there and want to shop there. We’re looking at extra resources for that as the £3.2m will not be a substantial enough sum.”
We understand from our own council sources that the remedial work could see significant road works back on Leith Walk for between 6 months to a year, starting in September.
Meanwhile, even though volunteers from Greener Leith, Leith Open Space and Leith Central Community Council have managed to gather the views of nearly 500 local people in our month long Vision For Leith Walk consultation, the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership have announced that they plan to organise further consultation events on the future of the street – and they’ve extended the scope to include Constitution Street too.
According to the copy of the invitation letter that we’ve received (reproduced in full below) council officers want to check that they’ve “heard correctly.”
There will be two drop in sessions at the MacDonald Road library that Leithers can attend. The first will be on the 16th of July between 4pm and 7pm, whilst the second will be held on the following day between 10am and 12pm.
We’d encourage you to go along. Even if it’s simply to make sure that council officers have indeed heard correctly.
Photo credit: Duff_cf