Patience wears thin over Leith Walk improvements

Dear Spurtle

Re: 'Worsening communications threaten Leith Walk improvements' (Breaking news, 17.12.13)

I'm happy to go on the record to say that I think the stakeholder meetings for Leith Walk are a waste of time, and I haven't been lately as I was so disheartened after the last meeting. 

I used to attend as a concerned Leith resident and business owner, and as secretary of the Edinburgh branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). I attended about 4 meetings earlier this year. There was no agenda sent out in advance, no minutes distributed, and little transparency. The actual roadworks timeframe is far too long and vague; local businesses are suffering from the state of the street and have been for some time now. Leith Walk has been dangerous to cycle down for the last year – it is simply not acceptable. 

Somehow, by 'engaging' with the community, the Council are hoping that we'll all feel better about the dire state of our surroundings. There have been no plans released for the Foot of the Walk or Pilrig Street junctions, and no discussion, as 'It's all a bit complicated' (I quote). They are claiming that we should be grateful for the amazing design they are conjuring up. 'Look to Constitution Street,' we have been told. Yes, it is complete, kinda, with bunting.

I for one cannot wait any longer for Leith Walk to be upgraded – there is too much dragging of feet and not enough action. Four years ago, I opened my fitness studio on the corner of Leith Walk and Balfour Street as there was meant to be a tram stop there. All there's been since are excuses, and smoke and mirrors. I am very angry (and it takes a lot for me to say that). 

When is the next Leith Walk Stakeholders meeting? That's a mystery folks, as no information is emailed – I rely on Charlotte from Greener Leith to tell me when.

Tracy Griffen
Griffen Fitness, Balfour Street