Council welcomes commitment to improve Edinburgh's roads

Utility company Scottish Water has pledged to commit extra resources to helping improve the condition of Edinburgh’s roads and streets.

Following discussions with the City of Edinburgh Council, the water and sewerage company has allocated additional manpower to properly reinstate apparatus, such as manhole covers, between now and the end of March.

Work will be carefully planned to minimise disruption to traffic and pedestrians in liaison with neighbourhood staff to limit disturbance to residents and target priority areas.

The programme of work will address more than 75% of the city’s 901 items of defective manholes and other similar access covers, as well as repairing 172 defective repairs – 40% of Edinburgh’s total defects for utilities.

The Council recently employed additional staff to carry out inspections of all repairs carried out by utility companies and also plans the relaunch of the Edinburgh Roadworks Ahead Agreement (ERWAA), which will involve a working agreement between the Council and the main public utilities companies to minimise disruption resulting from road and pavement works, ensuring a high quality of reinstatements.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Transport and Environment Convener, welcomed the move. She said: “As a capital city, it is essential that our roads and pavements are safe and accessible for all those who live in and pass through Edinburgh each day.

“Our work with utility companies aims to balance their needs with those who live and work in the city, ensuring roadworks are carried out to the highest standard, with minimum disruption. That’s why it’s very encouraging to see that Scottish Water have committed to this programme of work, which will result in a vast improvement to the quality of Edinburgh’s roads.

“We will continue to collaborate with Scottish Water and the public to guarantee improvements are made to the highest quality and with minimum disruption.”

Mark McEwen, Scottish Water’s Customer Service General Manager, said: “Because of the nature of our work as a unique, multi-service utility, we operate a significant network of pipes, sewers and water mains under Edinburgh’s streets. This often requires us to carry out work to ensure our infrastructure is in the best possible condition. In doing so, we can ensure our customers in the city receive the best possible service.

“There are sometimes occasions when manhole covers can loosen or the road surface can require attention following completion of maintenance work.

“We have been working very hard to bring down the number of these repairs as they occur, and are determined to maintain the pace of improvement. We have been working very constructively with the city council on this and are pleased to commit some additional resources to carry out work in the coming weeks.

“A report published in 2014 on road reinstatements showed Scottish Water had the second highest compliance rate of 12 companies assessed by the Road Authorities and Utilities Committee (Scotland). We achieved a 92% compliance rate across Scotland – above the average rate of 83%.”

The Council reports on public utility performance every three months. Read the latest report on the Council website.

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