Readers' letters: Cycle lane work will kill off businesses

I write as a very concerned trader in Roseburn Terrace (Roseburn Shoe Repairs).

Roseburn Terrace traders are complaining about the works outside their businesses
Roseburn Terrace traders are complaining about the works outside their businesses

The work that has started on the cycle lane (already hitting problems with the asbestos outside Roseburn Bar causing delays) has made a significant impact on our ability to trade. As Balfour Beatty have taken up two road lanes on the terrace, there are no spaces for customers and delivery drivers to stop.

It seems excessive, as work is only carried out on a small area of the terrace at a time. Many of my customers who used to drop off/pick up goods can now no longer do so. They go elsewhere.

Signage at the start of the work states that work will continue for 74 weeks on one sign and until December 22 on another – long enough for customers to avoid Roseburn altogether and create new shopping habits.

According to consultation, both pavements in Roseburn will be finished by end of July, then Roseburn will be work-free! This needs to be signposted and people need to know this. Work on the road will start again in November, but a new sign needs to be created for this.

So far this has had a significant impact on our ability to trade and as work and further delays continue, I fear we may not be around to see the finished cycle path (whether that helps in future is another story). I urge the council to take note of what is happening to local shops in Roseburn, already struggling coming out if lockdown and do what they can to support us through this difficult time.

Niall Menzies, Roseburn Shoe Repairs, Roseburn Terrace, Edinburgh

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Traders suffering

Edinburgh Council, in it’s dogmatic drive to plough cycle routes through this city, has initiated yet another major series of roadworks; this time in Roseburn. Numerous signs are up telling drivers that a 300-yard stretch of road covering Roseburn Terrace and part of Wester Coates will be undergoing works for the next 18 months.

As a result, Roseburn Terrace has been reduced to one lane each way and all parking removed. To add insult to injury, all the short stay parking bays in side streets have been removed and replaced with double yellow lines. This is apparently supposed to help the traders by freeing up these bays for vans deliveries. The only problem is that all the traders are against these double yellow lines because it eliminates all parking options for their customers. So, the council’s idea of helping the traders is to do exactly the opposite of what the traders want. Go figure that.

Unsurprisingly, the result is that most shops in Roseburn Terrace have seen their business drop by between 50 per cent and 80 per cent. Some are already starting to reduce their opening hours, meaning employees are suffering wage cuts. Others are considering closing permanently. So far, the council has refused to pay any compensation for the suffering caused by their vanity project. The traders live in hope.

Julian Skinner, Moving Pictures, Roseburn Terrace, Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s disgrace

On my first visit to Edinburgh for some time, I was appalled to find the city’s formerly accommodating and elegant road network, reduced to a restricted and potholed mixture of conflicting council vanity projects that made any progress a slow and bone-jarring nightmare.

Now I know why many of Edinburgh’s residents drive huge tractor-like vehicles. They need them to cope with the road surfaces.

And how will the Barnton and Maybury junctions, with their needlessly narrowed link road, cope with extra traffic from the huge housing developments now being inflicted upon what was a pleasantly green aspect of Edinburgh.

The fine city of my birth, once known as the Athens of the North, now looks like something in the death throes of a vast and failed construction experiment.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinross

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