Leith businesses fear lack of support over tram extension

 

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Leith Walk  businesses preparing for the worst. (Credit: Graham Millar) 

 

Traders on Leith Walk voiced their concerns today about proposals to extend the tram-line, which they fear will ‘lead to years of fresh disruption’ to the daily running of their businesses.

Should Councillors vote in favour of the project estimated to cost £207m – equating to £69m per mile, businesses are already foreseeing financial problems as well as the potential infrastructure layout.

A manager of a charity organisation, who asked not to be named, spoke to EN4 News regarding the the loading bays that are directly in front of their shop, which they worry will be removed. Unlike businesses on Princes Street who have entry points on Rose Street for deliveries, etc, those on Leith Walk do not have a second entry point. The manager said:

“They’re going to put a few parking spaces around the corner (on Manderston Street) so that it will mitigate the affect on us to an extent but anybody with any donations will have to park round the corner and bring their donations to us, whereas at the moment, we’re able to have loading and unloading right outside the shop.

“With the road being narrowed to two lanes, the roadworks themselves and putting in the structure, it’s going to affect everybody. I do appreciate the authorities trying to put in measures to lessen the affect on businesses but it will have a massive impact to businesses on Leith Walk. 

“When the information about the trams first came out, we did get the impression there was going to be cash compensation for companies and businesses but I don’t believe that’s going to be the case, therefore, if what the council do offer doesn’t help at all then we’ll just have to live with what’s happening.”

However, the parking situation on Manderston Street is already tight, with motoring businesses that have been based there for over 40 years battling the logistics throughout time and the tram route is expected to bring further difficulties. A worker at Dunwell Coachworks said:

“We’ve always got cars (parked), cars that are either waiting be picked up or get done. You got to park them somewhere but there’s yellow lines all over the place – where do you put them? I believe there’s gonna be traffic lights at the end of the street. I think they should make this a one way street and if they’re gonna put traffic lights there they may put double yellow lines here. We’ll have less parking, I know that…”

 

Mark Gibson of Folly Antiques wrote a letter to the council listing the reasons for the Council not to approve the tram line, one section of it reads:

‘”At a time when many high streets are dying and many more consist of little more than chain stores, charity shops and vacant lots, Leith Walk is bucking the trend. Why?”

Speaking to EN4News, he said:

The final decision by councillors will be made on March 14th.

 

Train breakdown caused major east coast line disruption

Passengers travelling on the east coast main line were met with severe disruption today due to a track maintenance train breaking down.

ScotRail suspended all trains between Edinburgh and North Berwick/Dunbar while Virgin Trains, East Coast and CrossCountry services were delayed. Replacement road transport was put in place for ScotRail passengers.

An engineering train broke down overnight in the Dream area of East Lothian causing the disruption, but has since been removed.

Shortly after the fault, ScotRail tweeted an image which stated:

“Unfortunately an engineering train has broken down in the Dream area and we’re unable to run a full service between Edinburgh and North Berwick/Dunbar. Tech staff are on site and working on the train at present, but we don’t have an estimate for when we might get the train moved.”

The broken down train was blocking a track, meaning only one track was available to be used by trains in each direction.

Delays were expected until at least 1:30pm, however this has since been pushed to 2:30pm – around 12 hours since the incident happened.

Network Rail announced that “The broken down engineering train has now moved, allowing all lines to reopen.

Trains between Dunbar/North Berwick and Edinburgh still may be cancelled, revised or delayed by up to 60 minutes.

Disruption is expected to continue until at least 14:30.”

Virgin Trains stated “Due to a points failure between Edinburgh and Berwick, trains have to run at reduced speed on all lines.

Train services running through these stations may be delayed up to 15 minutes.

“We apologise to customers who have been caught in the disruption today.

Please ensure you claim Delay Repay”

 

 

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