Edinburgh's roadworks are bad enough without workers' blunders adding to the problems – John McLellan

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Everyone has their experience of inconvenience caused by utility companies’ protracted roadworks, and with CityFibre’s cable-laying programme, Edinburgh has become an ever-shifting tangle of temporary traffic lights.

Normally it only take two or three weeks for the contractors to move on, but anyone living in the Shandon area can safely forget a quick fix to the closure of the Ashley Terrace bridge. Raised by Conservative Craiglockhart councillor Christopher Cowdy in the Evening News this week, it’s hard to understand how laying fibre-optic cables can render a bridge unsafe. But the bridge is owned by Network Rail which in my experience has what might be called a less than urgent attitude to anything not involving trains.

Ask the residents of Urban Eden in Meadowbank who had a battle over repairs to the Crawford Bridge, which by the time I left the council had still not been properly resolved, and the same again over the simple widening of a path across Network Rail land to Meadowbank retail park. They are quick enough to get things moving when trucks hit the Cameron Toll bridge, but there is a main freight line going overhead.

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Now the West Approach Road is closed too, there is seemingly no end to disruption in the Slateford area and the Ashley Terrace bridge has been shut since January with no date for reopening. Of course, it’s CityFibre’s fault for cocking up the work, but there’s no excuse for the two companies not having a plan and a date for normal service to resume.

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