George IV Bridge: Busy Edinburgh road reopens after fire in Old Town though some disruption still expected
A city centre road is reopening after a devastating blaze in the Old Town, though the council does warn of some continued disruption.
George IV Bridge has been closed since Tuesday, August 24 when a fire tore through buildings, causing extreme damage and devastating businesses.
Homes were evacuated as the firefighters tackled the inferno which started in the early hours of the morning.
Patisserie Valerie, the Elephant House Cafe and Oz Bar were among the businesses which suffered both smoke and water damage as over 100 firefighters were called to the scene.
Edinburgh City Council today confirmed the road would be open this afternoon to two way traffic.
A temporary traffic management system is in place as work in the area continues so there is a chance of some disruption.
In a social media post, the council added: “We’re also in the process of removing some of the Spaces for People measures on the street, including the temp bus stops and segregated cycle lanes, as approved at committee.
"The street will be returned to a more permanent layout in the coming weeks.”
Council Leader Adam McVey said: “Credit goes to all those involved over the last couple of weeks, including the emergency services, Roads and Resilience teams and Shared Repairs officers, who have worked hard to keep the area safe and minimise disruption.
“I’m pleased that we’re now able to reopen the road, albeit on a temporary basis, meaning buses can return and relieving the impact on nearby streets.
"Over the coming weeks we’ll be working to restore the original layout here, while longer term we’ll continue progressing plans to significantly improve the street for walking and cycling under the Meadows to George Street project.
"We’re starting the formal legal process for this scheme in the coming months, with a programme to begin work on-site in 2023, and will accelerate the timeline where possible.”
Deputy Leader Cammy Day added: “The fire was a significant blow to many people living and working on George IV Bridge, and while we’re glad to see some semblance of normality returned, our thoughts are with those whose properties have been badly damaged.
"We’ll continue providing advice to owners as they carry out the necessary repairs.”