Anger as key road shuts for THIRD time in a year

Myreside Road. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Myreside Road. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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MOTORISTS are facing traffic chaos after it emerged that a key city road will be partly closed for the third time in less than a year.

Part of Myreside Road shut for two months at the end of last year for sewerage works linked to the £41.8 million redevelopment of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Morningside.

It also closed earlier in 2015 for electrical works to be carried out.

Now contractor Morrison Construction has announced that it will be shutting a section of the same road – which runs through the George Watson College campus – for a further three months while the work is completed.

The most recent works were suspended for a survey to be carried out, though there will be no extra cost to NHS Lothian and the opening of the new hospital buildings remains on schedule for December.

Former school governor, Tory councillor Mark McInnes, said it was “very disappointing” for residents and parents.

“Obviously there is a lot of frustration in the local community that this work has been done over two periods,” he said.

“Myreside is a key arterial route in the area, not least because of the school. All something like this does is add to major congestion in surrounding residential streets. It is very disappointing that people are having to face this disruption once again.”

In a letter to George Watson parents, bursar James Mills wrote: “I am very sorry to have to advise you that Morrison Construction has notified the school that a section of Myreside Road will be partially closed again from Monday, January 25 until Friday, May 13, 2016.”

Claims by the school that this amounts to the original works being “re-done” have been denied by contractors.

They have insisted instead that the new phase is merely a continuation of the original project.

A spokeswoman for Morrison Construction said: “The works on Myreside Road that were in progress at the end of last year and are due to recommence next week are essential infrastructure upgrade works as part of the new hospital development.

“These works had to be suspended in December due to some unforeseen issues with the existing sewer network.

“When these issues came to light we immediately reinstated the carriageway and removed our traffic management in order to allow the road to be fully reopened.

“During the two-year duration of this project we have attempted to mitigate the impact on the public and the students, parents and staff by carrying out any works on Myreside Road during the school holidays.

“Unfortunately, on this occasion, this will not be possible and we apologise unreservedly for this.”

john.connell@edinburghnews.com