Haymarket sewer work delays hitting businesses hard

The works at Haymarket Terrace are hitting businesses hard. Picture: TSPL
The works at Haymarket Terrace are hitting businesses hard. Picture: TSPL
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MAJOR roadworks causing disruption and delays in the heart of the West End are running two months behind schedule, it has emerged.

The £2.5 million project to replace a Victorian sewer in Haymarket Terrace began last September and was expected to be finished at the beginning of last month.

Business owners reacted with anger at work still ongoing this week – while Scottish Water bosses assured completion is “imminent”.

“I’m raging because it’s got to the point where it’s been the hardest year for business here – for the whole street,” said Darren Millar, 40, owner of BLKWRK tattoo studio.

“We’re all small businesses here and if you come from the east or the west, the last place you want to come is Haymarket Terrace – and it’s been like that for a year.”

Mr Millar said he was told work would be completed weeks ago and estimated a 40 per cent drop in sales for shops with no compensation offered.

Although there was “light at the end of the tunnel” delays mean planned cycle path works won’t happen until next year, he added.

Work was expected to take nine months and was devised to reduce the risk of flooding to businesses on Haymarket Terrace.

The new sewer forms part of a £29.5m water and wastewater infrastructure renewal programme across the Capital, with city council backing.

Scottish Water’s alliance partner Amey Black and Veatch (aBV) were brought in to update the original egg-shaped brick Victorian sewer.

The project comprises of four main phases to install a new 1.2m diameter storm storage sewer pipe, starting on Haymarket Terrace at the junction with Magdala Crescent and moving east towards Haymarket Station.

Engineers discussed the work with city chiefs, deeming it “essential” to build capacity in the city’s sewer network.

Unveiling the work last year, Scottish Water assured it was “absolutely focused” on providing customers with excellent waste water services.

The work was needed to upgrade the Victorian-era sewer network to meet the needs of a modern and expanding capital city, said the firm’s bosses.

Regular updates would be provided while the company aimed “to minimise the disruption to residents, businesses and commuters as far as possible.”

Work stopped for a Christmas embargo in December, restarting in January, while an announcement is now expected next week with details of when the work will be finished.

A Scottish Water spokesperson said: “The works on Haymaket Terrace will be completed imminently.

“An update will be sent to residents and businesses shortly confirming the details of any remedial work and road traffic management.

“We would like to thank local customers, commuters and businesses for their ongoing patience and understanding whilst this multi-million pounds upgrade of the sewer network is carried 
out.”

andy.shipley@edinburghnews.com