Edinburgh drivers facing 500 road digs a day

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By SHAUN MILNE

MOTORISTS are being driven mad in Scotland’s capital city– by almost 500 sets of road works.

The astonishing figure, revealed by Scottish Roadworks Register, show that 493 sets of road works are underway across Edinburgh just now.

And city cabbies say the works are the “worst ever”.

Raymond Davidson, chairman of the Edinburgh Taxi Association, said; “The roadworks seem to be worse than ever.

“It’s non-stop.

“A figure of 500 is very high for a city the size of Edinburgh and they seem to be digging up the same bits of road over and over.”

“One company finishes and lo and behold another utility firm is in the next week, digging it up again.”

Most of the roadworks appear to be the responsibility of either City of Edinburgh Council or utility firms like Scottish Gas, ScottishPower and BT.

They are up more than 100 in the space of around six months.

Responsibility

City environment leader councillor Robert Aldridge said: “A significant proportion of the increase is accounted for by major utility mains replacement works which are essential following advice from the Health and Safety Executive.

“We continue to take our responsibility to keep Edinburgh moving seriously and will work closely with each of the utilities companies to ensure that roadworks are co-ordinated and managed effectively.”

But David Legg of the Association of British Drivers was unimpressed.

He said: “We can’t criticise any works which are about improving the state of the roads, but most of these works are being carried out by utility firms.

“The city council should be ensuring that the same piece of road is not being dug up 500 times, but I don’t think that is being done.

“Driving around Edinburgh, it doesn’t seem like that’s happening.”

But this was disputed by Mr Aldridge.

He said: “Significant co-operation has been received from the utilities companies and their contractors in accommodating late requests to postpone works due to other emergencies, and their willingness to work extended and weekend hours to progress critical works to a conclusion.”

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