Leith improvements begin in new year

Posted by to The Blog on October 12th

A programme of utilities works on Leith Walk and Constitution Street will begin early in the New Year and will be complete by early summer 2013. All works will be phased to limit disruption to residents, local traders and to the flow of traffic.

The decision to begin works in the New Year instead of late 2012 allows the project team to refine plans for the works and ensures that the area remains easily accessible in the pre Christmas period which will support a number of local businesses and traders.

A consultation on proposed plans for road resurfacing and environmental improvements will take place during November and December 2012 to inform the final design of the area. These works will then follow the utilities work.

Transport Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “Whilst we’re very keen to reinstate and improve Leith Walk and Constitution Street as quickly as possible, I’m determined that the needs of the whole community are fully considered in any plans.  

“We’ve been talking to traders and there are different views on this but we fully understand the importance of the Christmas period to many businesses. As Constitution Street will experience works first, it makes sense to wait until after the festive season.

“The tram project is progressing well and we’re now on track to return Leith Walk and Constitution Street to its former glory. In fact, with new attractive landscaping and other upgrades I’m confident the area will get a well deserved boost.

“We’ll continue to meet with the local community as this project develops to make sure plans meet with their expectations.”

Before initial presentation of these plans in July, local business owners asked to be consulted on timing of the works. When asked, some traders reported that taking a ‘get it done quickly’ approach could have significant negative impact on local shopping and the preference was for a phased project to begin after Christmas.

Works will see Leith Walk and Constitution Street resurfaced from Picardy Place roundabout to Bernard Street Junction. London Road roundabout will also be reinstated with landscaping, as will traffic islands and pedestrian refuge islands.

A number of environmental improvements are included, including additional soft landscaping, tree planting, improvements to footpaths and improvements for cycling along the route.

An outline of the plans to improve Leith Walk and Constitution Street was presented in a report to the Council’s Finance & Resources Committee in July this year.

Full details of the Leith Improvement Programme can be found on the Council’s website.

Picture: Broughton Spurtle

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