Blundering tram workers to lay concrete third time

Tram workers are digging up the road outside the Au Bar on Shandwick Place for the third time. Picture: Toby Williams
Tram workers are digging up the road outside the Au Bar on Shandwick Place for the third time. Picture: Toby Williams
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BLUNDERING tram workers have been forced to lay concrete along a 25-metre stretch for the THIRD time after yet another botched job failed to pass quality tests.

Sub-contractors are digging up the concrete around Au Bar on Shandwick Place, with pub bosses claiming the disruption has ruined their normally lucrative Festival season.

It is understood unusually warm temperatures had caused the concrete to lose integrity amid claims from sub-contractors that it had turned the wrong shade when set.

The news is a further blow to local traders, who learned last week that a series of concrete blunders between Haymarket and Shandwick Place had delayed a completion date for work along the route by more than four months.

The Evening News first reported in late May that more than 150 metres of concrete would need to be relaid through the West End after several areas failed quality assurance tests. The stretch of route affected is believed to be closer to 500m.

Jim Gow, landlord at Au Bar, said the bungle was “killing business” and left the road looking like a “bombsite”.

He said: “This is the worst week and a half we have had in almost two years since Shandwick Place closed. And when you think this is the middle of the Festival and everyone is looking for a little bit of extra business.”

Mr Gow said workman had erected a padded barrier to curb noise from digging up the concrete and control the clouds of dust being generated from the work

But he added: “All it does is mask the pub and made it almost impossible for people to see the pub from across the street. This is worse for our business than ever before.”

A spokesman for the city council said: “We apologise for the further disturbance in the area. Contractors lay concrete and test it for strength and, unfortunately, the tests revealed that this section needs to be redone.”

THE PRICE YOU’LL PAY TO TRAVEL

EIGHT trams an hour will run through Edinburgh’s streets at peak time, with fares pegged at £1.50 for a single journey – the same as the city’s buses.

The details were revealed last week by council chiefs, who said tickets and timetabling would be “fully integrated” to allow transfers between bus and tram.

Passengers will have to pay a supplement to travel to the airport, but that figure has yet to be agreed upon.