RESIDENTS breathed a sigh of relief when work finally started on a pedestrian crossing which had been repeatedly promised for six years – but now it has ground to a halt again.
It is understood the sub-contractor’s line-painting lorry has broken down and will not be back in action at the site on Buckstone Terrace, Fairmilehead, until next week.
The crossing was required as part of the go-ahead for a new development of 300 homes in December 2012 and developers paid the council £64,000 the following year to cover the cost.
After a series of delays, the council set a firm date of October 29 for construction work to start, saying installation of the crossing should be completed within four weeks.
The work made good progress – but then stopped.
Norman Tinlin, secretary of Fairmilehead Community Council, said: “There has been no work for about a week.”
He said the poles and lights had been installed and the non-skid road surface appeared to have been put down, but the white lines had not yet been painted.
“It’s almost finished, but not quite. There has been a delay for some reason.
“We’re getting a bit exasperated. We’re hoping it will be opened by Christmas – but we don’t know which year.”
Councillors received an email update from a council official last week, voicing surprise at the latest hold-up.
The official told them: “I have come back today from a few days’ leave, expecting to find the crossing to be completed and in operation, only to find little has been done on site since early last week. We were hoping they would be all finished by Friday last (30 Nov).
“The contractor did say he would scale down with the expected bad weather towards the end of the week – however they have almost completely disappeared – the weather hasn’t been that bad!
“Unfortunately the engineer looking after the job is off ill this week – I am pushing the contractor myself to get the remaining work programmed – it’s now looking like the middle of next week before we get all finished.”
Colinton/Fairmilehead Conservative councillor Jason Rust said it was “incredibly disappointing” the project continued to run behind schedule and had not yet been completed.
He said: “We were advised definitely a November finish and now December. It seems to have been jinxed from the start and the council really needs to learn lessons from this whole debacle which has gone on for years.”
A source said the sub-contractor’s line painting lorry had broken down and despite attempts to arrange repairs or find an alternative sub-contractor, it looked as if the lorry would not be back on site until a week on Monday.
It is understood the temporary traffic management restrictions have been lifted and cones lifted until work resumes.
A council spokeswoman said: “Work on this project has unfortunately been delayed due to bad weather and subsequent issues with sub-contractors’ machinery. We appreciate the frustration this will cause and are working with contractors and sub-contractors to ensure work is completed as soon as possible.”