Works to be completed repairing storm damaged National Cycle Network 1 route at Wellington Brae

Works to complete a repair to a storm-damaged National Cycle Network 1 route at Wellington Brae were today given the go-ahead.

Councillors on the City Council’s communities, housing and infrastructure committee voted to note and accept the award of up to £250,000 from Sustrans Scotland for the work.

They also voted to instruct the head of land and property assets to secure the necessary landowner approvals and provided they are obtained, also to instruct the head of planning and sustainable development to undertake and complete the works via the current contractor.

The committee members also noted that a current investigation into governance process is underway and will be reported separately.

The report considered by councillors said Wellington Brae suffered damage during a storm in February 2016, with a combination of the trees being planted close to the path’s retaining wall and the inclement weather resulted in tree roots bursting through the Victorian dyke wall and leading to its partial collapse in one area.

Subsequently, several other areas were identified as also likely to fail. The foot and cycle path were closed at the time to protect public safety and until a suitable plan for the repair and funding of the works could be established.

Sustrans Scotland was successfully approached with 100% of the estimated necessary funding of up to £250,000 subsequently being made available to cover the costs to reinstate the path. It was agreed that the monies provided would be spilt across two financial years, with the majority of funds being made available in 2017/18.

The report said an initial allocation was spent on immediate emergency shoring up work and tree removal, topographical survey, land search, design of the permanent solution for the retaining wall, landscaping and drainage.

The emergency works were undertaken until further construction works could commence to fully reopen the path. Steel containment barriers were placed along the length of the wall and were further reinforced to block unsafe entry until the permanent works could be completed.

The report said prior to the permanent works commencing to replace the retaining wall to modern standards, regulatory approval to undertake works to trees adjacent to the retaining wall was secured and a works contract was awarded, and the works started on 20 April 2017.

The report considered by councillors said in light of potential governance issues being raised including with regards the proper process of approval of the Sustrans external funding and the delivery of the works, the works contract has been suspended pending the committee meeting, and a formal investigation lead is underway, the outcome of which will be the subject of a separate report to the audit and risk committee in September 2017.