Residents still awaiting pedestrian crossing 5 years after council agreed to install it

Councillor Jason Rust at the section of road on Buckstone Terrace where the council were given �64,000 by the builders of 300 new homes to install a pedestrian crossing in December 2013 but it still hasn't been installed.
Councillor Jason Rust at the section of road on Buckstone Terrace where the council were given �64,000 by the builders of 300 new homes to install a pedestrian crossing in December 2013 but it still hasn't been installed.
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FRUSTRATED residents are still waiting for a promised pedestrian crossing – more than five years after the council agreed to install it.

The city’s planning committee said in December 2012 that the new crossing on Buckstone Terrace, Fairmilehead, was needed as part of a new development of 300 homes.

The developers handed over the required £64,000 to pay for it in December 2013 – but the crossing has still not materialised.

And if it is not installed by the middle of December the developers will be entitled to get their money back, leaving the council to foot the bill. The council’s latest date for doing the work is September.

But Norman Tinlin, secretary of Fairmilehead community council, said: “I’m not holding my breath. We’ve had so many excuses and timelines from the council. It’s just fortunate there has not been an accident on that stretch of road.”

He said the situation was “completely unacceptable”.

“The feeling in the community, given the length of time it has taken, is that we are being treated with contempt by the council, particularly when they have had the money all that time.

The council admitted there had been a shortage of staff in its internal design team.

But it said a design for the crossing was drawn up in 2014, then dropped amid concerns about its proximity to a bus stop. A second design in April 2016 also attracted objections and in 2017 two further designs were offered for public consideration, one of which won 60 per cent backing.

A tender for construction of the crossing was advertised in May/June this year and the work was expected to be carried out in August.

However, the two tenders received for the work were both over £64,000. The council opted for the lower bid and the contractor was unable to start before September.

The council has said the work was currently scheduled to begin the week beginning September 17.

Colinton/Fairmilehead Conservative councillor Jason Rust said: “The council has been dragging its feet on this matter for some considerable time and residents are becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress.

“The developers have played their part and it is time for the council to step up to the plate and deliver this much- needed crossing as soon as possible without any further delays which are completely unacceptable.”

Scott Arthur, Labour councillor for the area, said 
the delay was “unacceptable”.

A council spokeswoman said: “We appreciate this process has taken longer than expected in order to identify a solution that best meets the needs of the community, and thank residents for their patience.

“We are moving forward with the implementation of the crossing, which we expect to be in place by autumn.”