Edinburgh roadworks: Portobello's Brighton Place to close on Monday for 60 weeks

The controversial 60-week closure of a Portobello street will start next Monday to allow the rebuilding of its cobbled setts.

Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 11:11 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 11:21 am
The setts on the road in Brighton Place, just off Portobello High Street. Picture: Jon Savage
The setts on the road in Brighton Place, just off Portobello High Street. Picture: Jon Savage

Work to relay the setts in Brighton Place will cost the city council about £1.2 million and cause four bus routes to be diverted.

Many traders in Portobello High Street fear the 14-month road closure will hit their businesses, and would prefer asphalt resurfacing as it is thought to cost a third less in both time and money.

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But conservationists want the setts retained to complement the Georgian townhouses in the area, and they argue the setts will last longer than an asphalt surface.

A Tweet posted today by Edinburgh Travel News, which is run by members of the city council's roads team, said: "Contractors are setting up on Brighton Place from today ahead of sett reconstruction work. Signage is in place already but we're not expecting the road to close until Monday 1st October."

It adds that the first phase of work on Brighton Place, between Portobello High Street and Lee Crescent, is due to start on Monday and is expected to last 10 weeks. An end date for the overall work is given as 29th November 2019.

Councillors had initially agreed in 2016 to remove the cobbles and resurface the road in asphalt after a survey by Portobello Community Council in 2015 found 57 per cent of locals backed the move.

But in March this year the decision was reversed after input from the heritage lobby and it was agreed to reconstruct the setts.

A city-wide survey conducted by the council as part of a review of its policy on setted streets, found 79 per cent in the Craigmillar/Portobello ward said setted streets should be protected and maintained, with 70 per cent rejecting the idea damaged setts should be replaced by an alternative surface material.

A survey of residents in Brighton Place and surrounding streets, conducted by the Brighton and Rosefield Residents Association, received nearly 100 responses with 88 per cent in favour of cobbles.