Leith Central Community Council: ‘shocked by new hold up to long-overdue Leith Walk repair works’

Statement for immediate release

The email announcing that the contractor for the current phase of the Leith Walk repair works (Iona Street to Brunswick Street) has gone into administration came yesterday late afternoon.

There have been indications for a while that work had slowed down, but this latest development has come as a complete shock. We are seeking urgent clarification on how this will impact on the current work sites in various states of completion south of Pilrig Street and the Iona Street compound, and – most importantly – on the overall progress of getting the Leith Walk works completed all the way to Picardy Place roundabout.

We understand that prior to the contract being awarded comprehensive assessments of the contractor’s financial stability were obtained by the Council. This being so, this would be the first time in the 10 year saga of Leith Walk on/off repairs that the Council does not have to shoulder the blame for the delays and costs that no doubt will come in the wake of this latest development.

Whether there will be further reputational damage will depend entirely on how quickly this situation is recovered, and the relevant clauses in the contract:

  • Is there a sufficiently sized performance bond in place, shielding the project from any financial fallout?
  • Is the works documentation up to date, to allow work to be picked up smoothly by replacement contractors?
  • If the works do not continue in the immediate future with a new contractor and complete before the summer break as planned, will residents and businesses be compensated?
  • Will the various work sites be supervised and protected adequately in the meantime?
  • Will the snagging of the completed works around Pilrig Street be addressed promptly to restore confidence?

It has been said that one should ‘never let a crisis go to waste’. Is this the wake up call that was needed to make the reinstatement of one of Edinburgh’s top three streets a top Council priority?

– ends –

Stakeholder Update 93: Phase 4 (Pilrig Street to McDonald Road) and Phase 5 Traffic Regulation Order (Brunswick Street to Montgomery Street)

(adapted from an email from Michael Motion, of Turner & Townsend Limited, sent on 17 January 2017 at 12:55) This post is not written by Leith Central Community Council, does not necessarily reflect LCCC’s opinions and policies, and is for information only. 

The contractor commenced back on site on 5th January, carrying out site set-up on Iona Street as before and stakeholder communication, following which the works to the Pilrig Street junction commenced with a closure of Pilrig Street as of the 9th January for a period of around 8 weeks (early March completion).  These works will also include works to the Iona Street junction and the surfacing of Leith Walk at these junctions.  This will be the main focus of our Contractors’ work at this time as we seek to minimise disruption to pedestrians and traffic by opening a number of work sites concurrently.  Work sites will then progress south on Leith Walk from Pilrig Street to McDonald Road as originally envisaged, with any additional work sites being opened only where it is felt there is a benefit to the Project without adversely affecting the use of the street.

Progress towards the end of last year was disrupted by 3rd party utility operations, and we will again be required to accommodate their works during the course of the Phase 4 Contract, while trying at all times to minimise the impact on the Programme.

A report detailing the responses from the statutory consultation on the Leith Programme Phase 5 will be considered at the Transport and Environment Committee on 17 January.  Continue reading

Is Edinburgh Council keeping you in the dark? CEC’s response

This post is adapted from an email from Edinburgh Council. It follows on from this post.

Thank you for your e-mail of 11th February regarding the above which has been forwarded to me by John McFarlane to provide our response in blue to the questions you have asked.  Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to your original e-mail which occurred due to an administrative oversight. Continue reading