Roadworks cause bin controversy in Stockbridge

Stockbridge residents have accused Edinburgh Council of “making excuses” for not collecting overflown rubbish bins on schedule.

The council released a statement this week explaining that the ongoing gasworks in the area have resulted in them being unable to collect the kerbside bins due to lorries being too large to fit alongside the construction work.

Local residents are disgusted by the overflow, with black bags spilling out onto the pavement in some places, and multiple reports of rats being spotted.

Overflowing bins (Credit: EN4 News)

“It’s just the council making excuses again,” said Eleanor McBride, who has lived on Raeburn Place for over 30 years.

“Other big vans and lorries can get down the street just fine so why can’t the bin lorries?”

Companies that have their rubbish collected by private companies have been largely unaffected despite using bin lorries that are much the same size as those used by the council.

Nadine Watson, manager of Holland & Barrett, whose bins are privately collected said: “Even though our bin isn’t being emptied every day now, it’s still being picked up maybe every two or three days.”

While the ongoing works have caused some disruption for businesses, the impact has not been as destructive as initially expected, some local shops have told EN4 News.

Privately owned collection lorry in Stockbridge (Credit: EN4 News)

Jennifer Feeney, assistant manager of pet store Just Dogs, explained that the company was braced for drastic losses, but that sales have been “about the same as usual for this time of year.”

The works on Raeburn Place are set to continue for another 20 weeks, and traffic will continue to be disrupted, with westbound traffic diverted for the remainder of the construction.

EN4 News have contacted Edinburgh Council regarding the issue and are awaiting a response

Pothole revelations show £1.6m spent by Edinburgh City Council

Edinburgh City Council spent £1.62 million in the last financial year on resolving potholes issues within the city, a Freedom of Information Act request has found.

It equates to just under the total amount spent on other non-pothole related road issues, with £1.68m spent on other maintenance work.

It was reported last year that it costs £60 to repair one pothole, which equates to around 27,000 potholes being repaired in the last financial year.

That is a rise by almost 2000 repairs in the last two years, with over 25,000 being fixed in 2017.

However, the issue goes back further than 2017, with Edinburgh found to average 73 potholes per kilometre of road in April 2015.

Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “It’s not surprising that around half of our revenue spend focuses on repairing potholes and other damage, as this budget is specifically allocated to maintaining our network of roads and pavements. In addition to this, revenue budget is used for a variety of improvements, including gully clearing and hard landscaping.”

“Tackling poor and damaged road surfaces is a real priority for the Council, and significant investment in the roads network has seen our road condition rating improve to its best since 2011. This is in part thanks to our proactive approach to repairs as well as an increased output in road renewals, as part of our £15m spend in such projects last year.”

“Our teams work extremely hard to make sure our streets are safe and usable by pedestrians, cyclists and drivers and as a result the vast majority of defects are made safe as quickly as possible, negating the need for the public to claim for damage.”

Edinburgh locals have taken to Twitter in recent weeks to raise their complaints about the number of road repairs needed in the city.

The FOI request was made by consumer champion Scott Dixon, who runs the Facebook page The Complaints Resolver. He told EN4 News about a pothole he spotted at Prestonfield Bank in 2017 which was “repaired” in ten minutes, and he believes that the fix was rushed and unprofessional.

Credit: Scott Nixon

A few months ago, data analysis FixMyStreet found that potholes were the top cause of council complaints in Edinburgh. With numbers rising, it seems the issue is not any closer to being fixed.

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