Council ‘blunder’ means business may have to shut down for seven weeks

Adrian Hamilton and Judy Sansom of the Garage Door Company. Picture: Greg Macvean
Adrian Hamilton and Judy Sansom of the Garage Door Company. Picture: Greg Macvean
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FURIOUS bosses at a city business park claim they could lose thousands a week after their only supply route was torn up without warning.

Management across several firms at Russell Road Industrial Estate have hit out at sudden resurfacing work on Gorgie Road that they say will cut off truck deliveries and could force business to grind to a halt altogether.

They claim the council failed to notify them over the disruptive roadworks – which they fear may last up to seven weeks – and could leave many firms unable to trade.

Judy Sansom, company secretary at Garage Door Company, which has been based on the estate for 30 years, said high vehicles used to supply their materials could not use alternate routes due to low-lying bridges.

The council have insisted that contractors working on the closed road will let delivery vehicles through, but despite this Ms Sansom claimed that the firm’s 11 employees may have to be put on temporary “gardening leave” until McLeod Street reopens.

“It’s pathetic because we are paying people money to do this job,” said Ms Sansom. “They [the council] could have come round to say ‘you will have to make other arrangements’ but it’s not possible to do that anyway now and certainly not at this late notice.”

“We, along with the rest of the estate have endured a year of hardship due to the Russell Road bridge closure [for the trams] which forced our customers into driving around a confusing and congested Haymarket diversion or through equally congested Gorgie.

“Now it seems we cannot receive deliveries for seven weeks. This lack of foresight shows a totally cavalier disregard and disrespect for anyone endeavouring to run a business in the area, despite which business are expected to pay enormous sums of rent and rates to the council for the benefit of shocking catalogue of road mismanagement.”
She added: “The council said we were notified by a sign mounted onto a lamppost on Gorgie Road but when you are driving past you would not see something like that.

“We should have £1 million turnover per annum. If seven weeks are wiped out it will significantly impact on the profitability of the company.”

Alan Wight, managing director of City Glass on the estate, said: “We are like everyone else here, we have deliveries coming but we don’t know if they will come through either.

“We weren’t consulted about this. I haven’t received a single letter. In fact, the first I realised was when they began putting cones out along Gorgie Road.”

A council spokesperson said: “Capital works to improve the road surface on Gorgie Road are estimated to take approximately three to four weeks and during that time contractors have and will continue to allow access to high-sided vehicles needing to deliver to Russell Road industrial estate.

“We always aim to accommodate the needs of local residents and businesses during road works and we apologise for any inconvenience caused whilst works are ongoing.”