More tram works, yet the end is in sight

Yet more traffic disruption: Edinburgh trams. Image: geograph.org.uk / cc.

The next set of tram works are due to begin this weekend.

The existing tram works at Shandwick Place and Haymarket are now being extended to cover West Maitland Street.

The works are set to take place from 5’oclock tomorrow morning with other traffic divisions being put in place.

Edinburgh Council has thanked the local businesses, people and commuters for their patience with the ongoing works and all their disruptions.

The City of Edinburgh Council warns of traffic disruptions and journey delays as a result of the ongoing tram works.

The works, which many feel are taking over the city centre, are feared to be a danger to businesses in the area. Apart from the general traffic disruptions the works are feared to bring a negative image to commuters and tourists coming from the nearby Haymarket train station.

The council offers an ‘Open for Business’ budget, in which £175,000 will be invested. The programme was created to encourage visitors to Edinburgh and sustain footfall in the city centre.

Yet many criticise the council for their lack of help with diverted walk ways and in particular, pointing pathways though the maze of road works for customers. The tram works stretch from Haymarket to the West End and Princess Street t oWaverley Bridge but they are due to be completed in June this year.

Trams blamed for mice in chippy

By Gordon Smith

An Edinburgh chip shop owner has blamed the capital’s tramworks for a mice infestation that led to the immediate closure of his premises.

The discovery was made at Carlo Corolla’s Clifton Fish and Chicken Bar in the busy Haymarket area of the city following a routine inspection by food hygiene officials in February this year.

Appearing for sentencing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Corolla, 41, was fined £1200 for the breaches at the Clifton Terrace premises on February 3rd 2009.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court

Edinburgh Sheriff Court: Image Courtesy Deadline Scotland

Corolla of Main Street, West Calder, had previously admitted failing to ensure he kept his premises clean, and failing to ensure materials used for wrapping food were not contaminated.

The court heard a dead mouse had been found in the basement of the chip shop, along with a number of droppings. Tests of ice cream wafers by inspectors were also found to contain rodent urine.

Fiscal depute Sally Clark, told the court that food hygiene officials believed the chip shop posed an “imminent risk to customers health” and as a result, was closed immediately. She added that a boarded up window may have allowed the vermin to enter the building.

Defence agent Jim Grant said: “He has been an operator of a takeaway food business for about six years and three at the present premises, without incident.

“He wasn’t aware that he had any mice in the premises, had he known he would have dealt with matters immediately.

“He regrets the situation and would never knowingly put his customers at risk.”

Speaking last night, Mr Corolla said “The work has disturbed their [the mice] nests and everything. All of the shop owners here complain about the tram works. I have not noticed any loss of business yet, hopefully it will stay that way.”

No redundancy pay for off-licence staff

EXCLUSIVE by Narelle McGowan & Gemma Haigh

Staff at eight Edinburgh First Quench off-licences face redundancy without pay, leaving them with the prospect of a long fight to claim their money.

Edinburgh Napier News has learned that some of the staff, many of whom have worked for the company for up to 20 years, will not get the redundancy payments they are entitled to.

One worker said that many staff are devastated by the news and feel it is unfair they are not getting a redundancy package.

Administrators KPMG were brought in to try to save the business, but now they are planning to close dozens of branches across the country.

A First Quench spokeswoman refused to confirm that staff will be left without pay.

First Quench, who own Wine Rack, Thresher, Haddows, Bottoms Up, The Local and Victoria Wine have 219 stores across Scotland, 53 of which face closure and of the 1,300 stores in the UK they are closing 373.

During the recession, increased competition from supermarkets as well as stock problems earlier this year added to First Quench‘s problems.

The eight Edinburgh stores confirmed to be closing by a First Quench spokesperson are:

  1. Haddows, Gorgie Road
  2. Haddows, Ferry Road
  3. Thresher, Ferry Road
  4. Victoria Wine, Leith Walk
  5. Victoria Wine, Haymarket Terrace
  6. Victoria Wine, Easter Road
  7. Victoria Wine, Newington Road
  8. Victoria Wine, Davidson Mains

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