Leith improvement programme announced

A £5.5 million improvement programme is set to provide a vital boost for Leith Walk, the Council announced today.

The plans will be considered for approval by the Finance and Resources Committee on 31 July and include extensive road resurfacing, environmental improvements and the reinstallation of art work that was removed to accommodate tram works.

Utility works which were undertaken as part of the city's tram project will now be completed, following the decision to terminate the line at York Place.

Leith Walk and Constitution Street will benefit from resurfacing 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.

Junctions and crossings are also to be upgraded if the plans are approved.

A number of environmental improvements are also included in the proposals, including additional soft landscaping, tree planting, and the replacement of broken paving on the footpaths.

Iconic art works and monuments will also make a welcome return to the area, including the Sherlock Holmes statue, the London Road Clock and the famous Pigeons.

Funding for the extensive programme has been identified from the Tram project budget (£2.3 million) and as a result of efficiencies in the Council's Capital programme (£3.2 million).

Stakeholders, including local residents and business owners, have taken part in discussions around the proposals. Their views are being considered and the schedule of works will be designed to minimise disruption based on the feedback.

Transport Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: "This is the kind of boost that this important route needs and a vital investment in the area's future.

"Residents and businesses have been affected by the tram works so I think it's only fair that this iconic street is now returned to its former glory. This programme goes even further than that to provide environmental improvements such as landscaping and general upgrading that will provide a significant benefit for many years to come.

"We will continue to meet with members of the local community to make sure that our plans meet with their expectations and we will work with them to reduce disruption as far as possible."

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