Update on Salvesen Steps

The Steps were inspected by the Council’s Bridges & Structures team last week and they hope to be able to repair them but a work schedule cannot yet be given. There are four rotten upright posts and there may well be further structural problems under the steps. We will remain on the case and will be in touch when there is more exact information available. We were in early communication with the officials and local politicians concerned who are well aware of the urgency to bring the Steps back into public use as the route is a core-path that the Council has a duty to keep open.

This is all most upsetting as we have been warning for over three years that this was going to happen and that a proper, costed plan must be in place to replace the Steps with a lower-level path around the rock-face. In the absence of such a plan further sums, probably quite large ones, must now be thrown at a condemned structure. The Council has been almost unbelievably slow in producing a replacement plan as outlined in the dates below.

March 2013 – the existing design to replace the Steps abandoned as being technically inadvisable.

April 2014 – New preferred option agreed by all parties.

April 2015 – FRAW advised that funds were available (c£80K) from the Council and Sustrans to move on to the next stage - the necessary investigatory work etc that is required prior to the preparation of construction tendering documents.

December 2015 – a contract placed for briefing work only (c.£3K) to prepare documents for further consultants to undertake the larger investigatory work (confusing isn’t it?)

10 May 2016 – Another briefing contract placed to report within three weeks as the December contract failed because of difficulties with contract conditions and subsequent enquiries with further parties seem to have been ‘lost in the post’.

A date for your diary. At the next Community Council on June 16 - Kirk Hall 7.30 it is planned to have the Steps as its main subject with it is hoped officials and politicians present to be held to account. It is important that this is well supported so please come along.