Scottish Power bosses face grilling as Queensferry Road to be dug up again in October

Scottish Power bosses are to be grilled by council officers over the firm's 'poor performance' that led to severe delays on one of the Capital's busiest routes.

Monday, 30th July 2018, 7:47 am
Updated Monday, 30th July 2018, 8:02 am
Queensferry Road is to be dug up again in October. Picture; Jon Savage

The company has come under widespread criticism for its cable-laying work along Queensferry Road which has caused long tailbacks during July between Telford Road and Barnton – while no workers were spotted by frustrated motorists along stretches of the coned-off route. The road was due to fully re-open on Saturday but it has emerged the disruption will return in October as the company still has work to complete.

Council officers are to meet the company next month to address the “poor performance and what works are still required to be undertaken”.

Scottish Power insisted the work had “gone well” and that the council has not raised any problems with its performance.

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Queensferry Road is to be dug up again in October. Picture; Jon Savage

A ward councillor has hit out at the disruption caused by the work – and lambasted the council for a lack of joined-up thinking.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Kevin Lang said: “Scottish Power has a lot of explaining to do. It simply didn’t live up to its promise of long shifts, seven days a week. Almost all the times I passed the works, there were few, if any, workers on site.

“However, there are issues for the council too. Given the problems with the Scottish Power works, permission should never have been granted for the separate utility works for the new care home further along Queensferry Road at Barnton.

“It is little wonder that commuters and residents have been so angry.”

Commuters had complained that the roadworks were often left unattended, despite pleas from the company that contractors would be working around the clock.

Scottish Power said it has worked closely with the council to ensure disruption was kept to a minimum.

A spokeswoman for Scottish Power Energy Networks said: “The cable laying we are carrying out is part of a major investment programme to upgrade and improve Edinburgh’s ageing power network, which does involve essential ground works.

“The excavation on Queensferry Road has gone well and to schedule, with work being completed there on Friday and traffic management removed and the road fully open from Saturday morning.”

She added: “A second phase of work in October has always been part of our overall plan and we’ve worked closely with the council to gain its permission to do so.

“No performance issues have been raised with us by the council and we work hard to ensure it is fully aware of our improvement plans. We are always happy to engage with the council on this improvement project and look at any areas where it can support us to keep traffic moving while we deliver an improved power network for the city.”

The council is demanding answers over any remaining work that needs to take place.

A council spokeswoman said: “We appreciate the frustration caused by delays resulting from roadworks and will be meeting with Scottish Power in the coming weeks to discuss the outstanding works on Queensferry Road.

As part of this we will be seeking commitment on time-scales and scope of the remaining utility works to ensure minimum disruption on this critical route.”