Edinburgh's Haymarket Terrace roadworks: Shops losing trade because of roadworks for construction of cycle route
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And they are making a desperate plea to city chiefs to speed up the work at Haymarket Terrace so the one-way closure does not need to last so long. Erica Stahl, who runs Pippin Gifts at 30 Haymarket Terrace, said her trade was down by nearly a third since the start of roadworks to install a new cross-city segregated cycle route.
Haymarket Terrace has been closed eastbound between Rosebery Crescent and Magdala Crescent since April 3 and is due to remain shut for eight months for construction of the latest stage of the City Centre West to East Link (CCWEL). And as part of the closure, gas company SGN is carrying out work scheduled to last 12 weeks, diverting a gas main and upgrading the local gas network.
Ms Stahl said: “Half the road is closed, traffic is diverted away, there’s noise, mess and disruption – it’s very off-putting for people wanting to come down here. Business has dropped. There are some good days and there are some pretty awful days, but I would say there's at least a 30 per cent drop. Some customers have said they found it very difficult to park and they probably wouldn't be along again until that was rectified. The bus stops have been moved, which alters which way people walk once they get off the bus. And for people who are just out for a walk it doesn't look very inviting.
"But there are great businesses along this street and it’s worth people fighting their way through the mess to find us.” She said the roadworks meant vans could not access the area for deliveries and collections and public bins were often not getting emptied, which led to rubbish overflowing onto the pavement. “And cyclists are cycling along the pavement because they can’t cycle eastbound along the road anymore, which is making it more dangerous for pedestrians.”
Ms Stahl said the area had already been through the tram works, sewer works and gas works as well as the pandemic, which had had a lasting effect because the increase in people working from home meant a drop in footfall from nearby offices. “I had just rebuilt the business after Covid, we got back on our feet for Christmas and now it looks like it's going to be a very difficult rest of the year again. They need to get the work done as quickly as possible. It's already here – we can't stop it from happening. I would just like it to be completed as quickly and efficiently as possible and we can get back to trading.”
Edinburgh West Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine said residents and businesses had told her they were concerned at the length of time the works are scheduled to take. And she said she would be raising the issue with the contractors and the council. She said: “This is the third time these shops have been hit this way in the recent past and some are really beginning to struggle as a result.
"It is also the last thing these businesses need during a cost of living crisis where customers are already being forced to reduce their spending. What they are specifically calling for is some way of speeding up the work which is currently scheduled to take around nine months. That would be critical for these businesses.”
Transport convener Scott Arthur said he was concerned to hear about the impact the works were having on traders in Haymarket Terrace. “Although I inherited this project from the last administration, I am keen to work with the local community to ensure the economic and wellbeing impacts are delivered with as little disruption as possible. I would be happy to meet with Christine Jardine MP and local traders to discuss what further support the council can provide. As we promote more public and active transport schemes in Edinburgh, I am keen to work with local communities to ensure the benefits to them are maximised, and any disruption is kept to an absolute minimum.”