Tramworks not artworks, says Burns

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CITY council leader Andrew Burns has insisted the tram project is making good progress – but admitted the works looked “unsightly”.

Writing in his monthly report, he said more than 1000 people were working on the project, and that the council was doing all it could to minimise the effect of the works on residents and tourists.

He said: “I’m aware tramworks still look unsightly and things are still difficult, but we are making steady progress on the construction programme and the first trams are due to be ready for passengers in the summer of 2014.

“While I am determined, along with the transport convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, to ensure delivery of the project, we are also committed to listen to the concerns of those affected so we can minimise the effects of the construction programme on their lives.

“For example, we have been able to change traffic management arrangements and diversion routes in the Broughton Street/Albany Street and Abercromby Place areas after taking on board the concerns of local residents and traders.

“We have also erected more directional signs in the city centre and east end area to help people more easily find their way to local shops, businesses and city centre landmarks. In the east end/Broughton Street area affected by diversions, we have been able to take action to lessen the effect of the works.”

He also said talks were ongoing with residents and traders in Leith Walk over a £5.5 million investment in restoring the area.

“We will work with them to reduce disruption as far as possible,” he said.