Letters: Portobello’s locals dead sett against road closures

Stephen McIntrye at Porty Exchange who is complaining about how long the council will take to relay Brighton Place setts
Stephen McIntrye at Porty Exchange who is complaining about how long the council will take to relay Brighton Place setts
Have your say

One reader has his say on the decision to replace setts in Porty. Do you agree?

Our petition against the replacement of Brighton Place setts in Portobello, calling for a full assessment of all the options, including an impact on the effects on local people, businesses and those with mobility issues, was signed by more than 1200 people in two weeks – 100 per cent of local shops and businesses are in favour of a postponement.

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All expressed extreme concern over the 60-week closure of Brighton Place, and the disruption of four crucially ­important bus services along Portobello High Street.

Last week, three deputations against the setts and closure put their case to the Transport and Environment Committee. Despite the strength of local feeling and the sense of outrage, the committee rejected their plea.

The committee chair argued that there had been no ‘material change of circumstances’ and that therefore council standing orders prevented them from reconsidering the issue.

This is utter and arrant nonsense and nothing more than a smokescreen to stifle the wishes and concerns of so many people. There have been material changes since the decision.

1. The committee did not know the setts in Brighton Place would take 60 weeks when agreeing that option.

2. The committee were presumably unaware no impact assessment has been carried out on a lengthy closure of one of the two key roads into Portobello.

3. They were not aware when they took their decision that four crucial bus services would be diverted away.

If these do not constitute material changes, I simply cannot imagine what would.

This whole sorry saga reflects dreadfully on both councillors and officers alike. The wishes of a huge number of local people have been cast aside and ignored. It is a disgrace and an affront to local democracy.

Brighton Place could be resurfaced at a fraction of the cost in a third of the time. This is what the vast majority of local people want. Even at this late stage there is still an opportunity for common sense to prevail. The councillors must take this opportunity now.

Jimmy Burnett, Portobello Against the Setts.