Anger at High Street repairs

A STORM of protest has rang out after emergency repairs to part of Queensferry’s historic High Street left it looking like a patchwork quilt.

The repairs to the cobbled surface were carried out on Friday and according to local residents it is an “eyesore.”

Over the past week users on social network sites have highlighted fears that the patchwork repairs could be long term, while others hope that it does not lead to another High Street closure which could affect local businesses in the run up to the festive season.

When the Queensferry Gazette contacted Queensferry and District Community Council this week, a spokesman said: “Tar patching of the road was carried out by the city council as an emergency measure because some cobbles at one location had broken loose during a recent wet spell.

‘‘However several areas of the High Street surface are also starting to show signs of degradation.

“As full repair can involve closing the road for several days to allow the cement to set properly, we are encouraging the council to survey the condition of the whole street and make all permanent repairs at one convenient time, hopefully in the near future.”

He added that in a bid to reduce routine damage to the road surface, they also aim to work with the council to minimise the amount of non-essential traffic passing along the High Street, particularly HGVs and buses.”

High Street resident Tom Martin agreed that HGVs are the root of the problem, saying: “The problem lies with the fact the High Street setts cannot cope with the weight of HGVs.

‘‘When the High Street was first cobbled, residents were told by the council that HGVs would be restricted but this agreement was never put into place.”

Mr Martin said a survey carried out three years ago found that up to 50 HGVs and coaches pass through the High Street every day.

‘‘But, other than delivery and bin lorries, there is no reason for that amount of 
vehicles to pass along the street, especially tourist coaches, as Queensferry does not benefit from their visits.”

John Murphy, another concerned East Terrace resident added: “The once ‘quaint’ cobbled road which proclaimed history, heritage and conservation has become a patchwork of cheap asphalt infill and dangerous, badly maintained setts.”

When we contacted Almond Ward councillor Norman Work, he said he was about to raise the matter with city council leaders and demand that cash be made available for the re-instatement of the setts.

Councillor Work said: “I am led to believe the city council responded to safety concerns about loose sets so removed them and in-filled with tar as a temporary measure.

“I can understand why this has been done.

‘‘However, what concerns me is that - as we speak - there is no money in the council’s budget to have the setts repaired and how long this temporary measure will be is a worry as there is no indication when the money will be made available.

‘‘That is why I will be demanding money is made available.”