Following the decision by councillors at the beginning of September to build the first phase of the tram project as far as York Place, the Council is bringing forward plans to carry out a series of remediation and reinstatement works, principally in the Leith area of the city. This was specifically requested by Councillor Joanna Mowat at the meeting of the Transport Committee at the end of September, but a timescale could not at that point be put on their replacement.
Full details of the proposed works, and associated costs, will be presented to the Transport, Infrastructure and Environment committee on 29 November 2011.
The proposed measures on, and around, Leith Walk include the following:
o Resurfacing of areas of carriageway and footway and repairs to drainage;
o Reintroduction of some on-street parking
o Reinstatement of Foot of the Walk junction;
o Reinstatement of London Road roundabout junction (including Blenheim Place);
o General reinstatement of signalised junctions and pedestrian crossings throughout Leith Walk and Constitution Street;
o Local environmental improvements
If approved, work will commence upon completion of Scottish Water works already underway in the area, which are expected to take around six months.
Detailed briefings on the proposals will be provided to local stakeholders, which will also provide an opportunity for local residents and businesses to comment on ways to improve the local environment, such as the location and condition of large waste bins and use of on-street litter bins, particularly in high footfall retail areas.
It is anticipated that the reinstatement works and associated initiatives will support and enhance the overall drive to improve the quality of the streetscape in Leith Walk. Funding from the ‘Open for Business’ programme previously approved by council has also been allocated specifically to help local businesses and promote the area during the works.
A number of monuments and public art pieces, which were put in storage pending implementation of the project, will now be reinstated in their former locations. These include the Sherlock Holmes statue on Picardy Place and the Leith Walk ‘pigeons’.
Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, Transport Convener, said: “Following the decision of Council last month to end phase one of the tram line at York Place, we made a commitment to press ahead with a coordinated programme of improvement works, and detailed proposals are now emerging.”
“These have to be tied in to other activities being carried out in the affected areas – and some works along Leith Walk in particular are dependent on the progress of Scottish Water – but we will use that window as an opportunity to consult as widely as possible with traders, residents and local members.”