Edinburgh's Holyrood Park: Management body responds to residents after being accused of 'utter disdain' for local opinion

Holyrood Park bosses – under fire for failing to respond to local concerns over a road closure – have now sent an email saying new measures are planned to prevent rock falls on the route.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 4:55 am

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Historic Environment Scotland’s reply came just hours after the organisation was accused of showing "utter disdain" for local opinion.

Craigentinny/Duddingston Tory councillor John McLellan said he, along with residents, had been ignored by HES over the closure of the Low Road between the Commonwealth Pool roundabout and Duddingston village.

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The Low Road goes past Duddingston Loch

He said the closure – which has been in place for several weeks – was causing considerable inconvenience to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike, diverting traffic to other routes, causing congestion and exacerbating traffic problems.

And he accused HES, who manage the park, of treating people in “an absolutely appalling high handed way”.

The Evening News put his complaint to HES and just a few hours later HES sent an email to one resident, copied to Cllr McLellan and others, acknowledging concern over the closure and promising an update on the situation would be posted on their website "very shortly".

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The closure was to allow assessment to be carried out on the risk of rock falls.

The email said: "Following the geotechnical engineers’ report on the rock slopes we are planning to undertake works to mitigate further risk from rockfall. In terms of the timescales involved this includes seeking the statutory consent required to work on a Special Site of Scientific Interest and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. We will also need to procure the works on the basis of these consents. Please be assured we are moving as quickly as we can to improve the situation."

It said the aim was to complete the work by early next year so public access to that area of the park could be reinstated.

The email mentioned the Innocent Railway Path as an alternative route which is lit in the evenings. "I appreciate this is a longer and perhaps inconvenient route and for that we can only apologise. You will understand that we have a statutory responsibility to the public to protect them from harm and hence the current approach is a necessary one."

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