Light shed on riddle of idle traffic signals

The dormant traffic light at Broughton Road

The dormant traffic light at Broughton Road

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LIGHT has finally been shed on a long-running mystery which has seen a set of traffic lights sit unused on a city centre street for more than three years.

Residents of Broughton Road have been left scratching their heads in bewilderment ever since developer Barratt Homes installed a set of lights and a pedestrian crossing near Redbraes Park only to never turn them on.

The lights, which were erected as part of the nearby Artworks housing development, have sat idle as they are yet to meet the criteria needed for adoption by the city council.

A number of reasons for the lengthy delay have been put forward by the developer, ranging from personnel changes within the firm and the council, and the collapse of contractor W J Harte. Over 500 construction jobs were lost when the civil engineering group, which was based in South Lanarkshire, was placed in administration back in January.

Resident Chris Hill said: “This crossing has been in place for a while, but never working – if there was a reason for putting it in, it would be better if it worked.” This view was largely echoed by Leith Walk councillor, Nick Gardner, who said: “The lights and crossing were obviously deemed necessary to ensure the safety of pedestrians crossing the road to Redbraes Park so it’s hardly too much to ask for it to be in full operation.

“There’s enough unwanted street clutter around the city without adding more to it.” A spokesperson for Barratt East Scotland said: “There have been a number of factors which have delayed the opening of the road traffic lights at Broughton Road, but we are working closely with Edinburgh City Council on a solution to ensure that the traffic lights are operational as soon as possible.”

As part of Section 75 agreements, housing developments often feature road or other infrastructure works carried out by the developer. In these cases, the company responsible needs to ensure all works have been carried out to standard, set by legislation, before the council considsers adopting them.

With regards to signal-controlled crossings this will include tactile paving, electrical cabling and stop lines.

A council spokesperson said: “We understand that Barratts have finalised the necessary works on the signals. A site meeting will be arranged soon to enable them to be tested and switched on, with the council taking over their management after that.”

david.oleary@edinburghnews.com