Edinburgh tram extension: residents 'treated with sheer contempt' over roadworks in their street
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And workmen digging up the road in Montgomery Street, off Leith Walk, gave them a further unwelcome surprise when they said the work would last for “weeks”.
David Mason, who lives in a basement flat in the street, said residents had been given no notice of the roadworks. The city council claimed residents were notified through the project newsletter, but Mr Mason said he is signed up for the fortnightly newsletter and there was no warning there.
He said Montgomery Street had already had 18 months of disruption linked to the tram extension, most recently serving as a “hub” for lorries offloading deliveries for shops in Leith Walk.
"To a certain point I accept that because I realise the tramworks need to be done and therefore there will be some disruption,” he said.
“But when I got up on Thursday what had happened overnight, and with no notice to the residents whatsoever, is major roadworks taking place in Montgomery Street. There are fences erected, big diggers outside, a massive trench dug in the road and noise all day. I work at home and the noise of the digger is just going all day.
"It would have been good if the residents could at least have been forewarned about it.
"I understand work needs to take place but I now think the Trams to Newhaven project is treating residents with sheer contempt. It's just complete disregard for any convenience of the residents.”
Mr Mason said the only explanation he could get at the scene about what the works were for was that it was to do with storm drains.
The council told the Evening News the roadworks were for “public realm” improvements and were scheduled to take four weeks, but Mr Mason was sceptical.
"There's no way this is public realm work, which is all about the aesthetic look of the place. This is a big trench down the middle of Montgomery Street.”
The £207 million tram extension will add three miles to the existing tramline by taking it from York Place down Leith Walk and onto Newhaven. It is due for completion in spring 2023 and the council says the project is on schedule and within budget.
A council spokesperson said: “We advise all residents in our letters to them about forthcoming works and encourage them to sign up to our fortnightly project newsletter for updates, which is emailed out.
“Of course, as is expected of major infrastructure projects of this nature, there is bound to be some disruption, and I’d like to thank all those living and working nearby for their patience. We’re working hard to mitigate the impacts and to get the works done as quickly as possible and will continue liaising with residents and businesses to keep them up to date.
“These works were always scheduled to enhance the area with new Caithness stone paving and the return of the seven famous bronze pigeon sculptures as well as the clock, previously situated at the London Road roundabout.”