Street in rich residential area has eroded away


A STREET in one of Scotland’s richest postcodes has been left looking like The Somme following a 30-year row over maintenance.

The private road in well-heeled Morningside, Edinburgh, is so potholed the council has refused to take it over unless residents shell out £200,000 for rebuilding.

But the doctors, academics and other professionals who live in Craighouse Avenue – a stone’s throw from JK Rowling’s home – can’t even agree whether to get it fixed.

Most are sick of getting huge garage bills to fixed their cars but others like the state of the road because it keeps traffic speeds down.

The street is in the EH10 postcode, which has the third highest concentration of millionaires per head in Scotland.

The road is owned by a nursing home in the street, Ashley Court. Residents of the street have right of access but should pay for maintenance in return.

But for the past three decades, no repairs have been carried out because neither the nursing home nor residents can agree who should pay.

The past two severe winters have left the street deeply cratered along its entire length and almost undriveable.

Susan White, 37, moved into the street a year ago and self-employed actuary who works from home.  She said: “It’s an absolute disaster, it’s a disgrace.

“Everybody tells me that it is the nursing home that owns the road and it is therefore their responsibility.

“The council should ensure that they [the nursing home] maintain the road.”

Lorraine Dunbar, mother of two, has just had to pay £500 for new tyres.

“We actually put four really good tyres on and within a year they needed replaced because the tracking had gone.

“I would like to see the road improved to increase the house valuation and reduce car damage.”

But  Dr Peter Gibson, a retired zoologist, is against repairing the road because traffic speeds will increase and it will attract outsiders to park.

“Some people have commented that they will never sell their house because of the roads and have filled in some of the holes themselves with rubble,” he said. “Some people like myself quite like it.”

Zoe Hutchison, 18, has lived there all her life.  “I’ve been able to play in the street safely because it doesn’t have cars tearing up and down. Across the street there is a tree house where I used to play, it’s a quiet street and a good atmosphere.”

But the state of the road is starting to become a problem as she gets older. She said that when she was learning to drive, her instructor would only let her get behind the wheel at the end of the street.

She added: “It’s a pain, especially when using a taxi at the end of a night out – the taxi driver just sighs.”

Edinburgh City Council confirmed they wanted to take over – or “adopt” – the maintenance of Craighouse Avenue but the road would have to be completely rebuilt first.

An insider said: “At the moment, there is no road to adopt. It would have to be rebuilt before it could be adopted by us. That is the responsibility of the owners although we would be available to advise them.”

A spokeswoman for Ashley Court said: “There have been a number of discussions with the residents of Craighouse Avenue over the years and unfortunately there has never been complete agreement from them on the way forward.  We are aware of the current state of the road and are looking into the matter.”

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