Organisations and City Council join forces to sign public pledge
City of Edinburgh Council Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Hinds has been joined today (Tuesday, 31 January) by representatives from utility companies in signing a public pledge to uphold high standards in the management, coordination and communication of roadworks in the Capital.
Cllr Hinds signed the Edinburgh Road Works Ahead Agreement (ERWAA) at the City Chambers on the Council’s behalf alongside representatives from SGN, CityFibre and Scottish Water.
The ERWAA has been developed by the Council in consultation with all public utilities operating in Edinburgh.
Signatories are making a public commitment to ensure roadworks are carried out as smoothly, competently and responsibly as possible, with proper road management arrangements in place.
For example, road works sites must display appropriate public information boards to communicate relevant details about the works, such as updates to duration or an explanation if work is temporarily suspended.
The ERWAA also addresses the quality of road ‘reinstatements’, Health and Safety, coordination of roadworks and performance monitoring and management.
Cllr Hinds said: “As a Capital city, it is essential that our roads and pavements are safe and accessible for all those who live in and pass through Edinburgh each day.
“Our work with utility companies aims to balance their needs with those who live and work in the city, ensuring roadworks are carried out to the highest standard, with minimum disruption.
“By signing the ERWAA today, the Council and our partners are making a strong public commitment which will undoubtedly improve the quality of Edinburgh’s roads.
“However, although the ERWAA was developed in consultation with all utility companies operating in Edinburgh, I’m disappointed that only three – SGN, CityFibre and Scottish Water – were prepared to actually sign up to it today.
“We hope the remaining utility companies reconsider their position and sign up without delay so that residents and visitors can trust that all organisations carrying out roadworks in the Capital are fully committed to the highest possible standards.”
Jim Small, SGN head of Operations (Scotland), said: “We always aim to minimise disruption as much as possible for all our customers during our essential work within the city, and it’s important to us that we work with the City of Edinburgh Council to continually improve safety, communication and quality of roadworks.
“We believe this agreement will allow us to build on the excellent coordination of our work with the Council, along with the other utility companies, and are therefore very happy to sign this agreement.”
Scott Raine, head of Construction at CityFibre, said: “As the company behind Edinburgh’s Gigabit City project, we have committed to a sustained investment in this city’s digital future. Deploying approximately 150km of pure fibre network throughout this city, in a little over 12 months has not been without its challenges but we have always endeavoured to minimise disruption to the city, its businesses and citizens.
“Since the project started we have worked extremely closely with the City of Edinburgh Council, especially the Roads and Transport Departments, and we continue to do so. Signing the Edinburgh Road Works Ahead Agreement is yet another example of the importance we place on considerate construction. We are delighted a project of this scale and importance has gone as smoothly as it has, and it is rewarding to all those involved in its construction to see Edinburgh’s Council and business community begin to reap the benefits.”
Mark McEwen, general manager of Customer Service at Scottish Water, said: “Customers are at the heart of our business at Scottish Water and any roadworks we have to carry out we try to ensure we cause as little disruption as possible.
“Whether it is in Edinburgh or across any other part of Scotland we try to put customers’ interests first before we carry out any work. We are pleased to sign up to this agreement and continue the good cooperation between ourselves, the Council and other utility companies.”
The ERWAA will be reviewed annually and updated every five years to ensure it reflects up to date practices and working methods. Any recommended amendments to the ERWAA will be agreed by all partners.
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