Urgent Message to Members – Closure of the Salvesen Steps

20/01/17
There would seem to be no alternative as, following a written report on their poor condition by a Council Engineer, the Council would not be insured should they remain open. Signs will be erected informing the public of this and of the suggested diversion which although unsatisfactory, is the only realistic option available. We will send out a copy of the proposed diversion, which will also be shown on noticeboards, as soon as we have it.

This news although long-predicted, is upsetting, but there would seem little point at the moment to repeat again the consistent failure by our Council to take the necessary action to replace the structure. The Council statement on the closure is attached below. This contains two important changes to the Council's previous position.

First, that a temporary structure will be installed as we urged and this is a considerable relief. This will be designed to stay in place until a permanent replacement is installed. Work to demolish the wooden steps and install the temporary scaffolding replacement cannot start until Feb 13 but is expected to be completed by six weeks from now.

Second, that there is for the first time a public commitment to push ahead with the replacement, which we hope will be around the rock-face, in line with local preference. We will be part of the committee that will review the consultant’s investigations that are almost complete.

Much can go wrong in the future but there are clear indications currently that this commitment is genuine both at a political and at official level within the Council.

It is doubtful if either of these two more encouraging decisions would have been made without the strong and constant pressure that has been exerted by FRAW and our partner local groups. With the support of a strong membership we will keep this pressure up in what we aim to be in a constructive manner.

Richard Adlington

Chairman

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Council Statement on the Salvesen Steps
Plans in place for Salvesen Steps solution

Salvesen Steps, by the River Almond at Cramond, will be closed by the City of Edinburgh Council from tomorrow (Friday, 20 January) after surveys revealed extensive deterioration/erosion.

A temporary solution will be put in place, with work expected to result in the closure of the walkway for up to six weeks. This will include the demolition of existing wooden steps and the erection of a temporary structure for access. In the meantime, diversions will be put in place for residents to use.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “While we have no choice but to close the steps on the advice of officers, we are in the process of developing a temporary solution in order to reopen the walkway as quickly as possible. We already have contractors in place in order to erect a temporary structure and are determined to keep the closure to a maximum of six weeks.

“In the long term, we are determined to implement a permanent resolution, and are currently carrying out a feasibility study which will be complete by the end of January. I visited the Salvesen Steps along with members of the Friends of the River Almond Walkway before Christmas, and fully recognise the walkway’s importance to residents and visitors alike as an accessible route to this area of natural beauty.”

Further information on the River Almond Walkway is available on the City of Edinburgh Council's website.