Roads and pavements funding injection sees boost in improvements in Edinburgh

The City of Edinburgh Council is on track to carry out improvements on the largest area of roads and pavements in one financial year, thanks to £11m of additional capital investment.

The additional investment was agreed in the February 2023 budget.

Around 420,000m² of road and 170,000m² of pavement improvements will be carried out in 2023/24, compared to pre-Covid yearly averages of 225,000m² for roads and 30,000m² for pavements.

Amongst the work completed is the resurfacing of Greendykes Road, along with active travel upgrades, improvements on Waterloo Place and Princes Street and the resurfacing of a large section of the A90.

Projects underway include the London Road placemaking improvement scheme, which will result in pavement improvements such as widening, cycle segregation, new traffic signals and pedestrian crossings and road resurfacing. This is due for completion in March 2024.

Most budgeted capital schemes will have been delivered in the first three quarters of 2023/24. By taking advantage of warmer weather, teams reduced the amount of material being laid in colder conditions and thereby the likelihood of material failure.

Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “The effect of this additional £11m of capital investment is clear in the numbers – in 2023/24 we’ll improve more square metres of roads and pavements than in any other financial year.

“Of course, concerns around the condition of our roads and pavements remain and are justified, and we’re listening. By significantly increasing the number of improvement schemes we’re working towards a safe, usable network.

“That said, like any other city we continue to work to a tight budget, in the face of increasing labour and material costs. However, this investment, along with prudent planning and delivery of schemes, is helping the situation to improve. The work undertaken in 2023/24 will help get our city back on track, but I am working to ensure we continue investing in roads and footpaths.”

The main focus for the final quarter of 2023/24 will be pavements, with plans to resurface almost 100 footways in residential streets, amounting to more than 86,000m² of coverage.

Capital improvements will also be supplemented by work carried out by the Council’s Roads Operations team, in addition to its role providing day-to-day revenue maintenance. In 2023/24 Roads Operations will deliver improvements to 45,000m² of the city’s roads, bringing the total area covered in 2023/24 to over 460,000m².

This has been aided by the Council’s new Pothole Pro machine, which ensures a higher level of quality control and reliable repairs. This machine has now fixed around 8,000m² of potholed road surfaces.

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