Urgent action needed on city subsidence, says MSP

URGENT council action needs to be taken over subsidence in Glasgow, it was claimed today.

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Shettleston MSP John Mason has written to the Scottish Government to ask them to force the council to take swifter action to address subsidence problems.

Mr Mason said local businesses and residents were "extremely disappointed" with the lack of urgency shown by the council following three separate incidences of roads and buildings collapsing.

Last week, the Evening Times reported how residents have been forced to quit their home after a crater appeared in Millroad Drive in the Calton area.

In January 2012, part of London Road was shut for six months after a four-storey tenement block was deemed unsafe and then demolished

And in October 2012, part of the road between Celtic Park and the Emirates Arena collapsed - closing another part of London Road for eight months.

But the council denied responsibility for the London Road incidences and said investigations remained ongoing into the root cause of the subsidence at Millroad Drive.

All the problems occurred near to the Commonwealth Games venues, leading to fears it could impact on the city's ability to host the sporting extravaganza.

Mr Mason has written to Local Government Minister Derek MacKay MSP to ask him to issue guidance to local authorities to deal with the issue more quickly.

He has copied in Commonwealth Games Minister Shona Robison MSP to raise concerns about the impact the subsidence problems could have on Glasgow 2014.

Millions of pounds has been spent on sporting venues in the East end, including the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the Emirates Arena and Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

Mr Mason said Glasgow City Council had been "incredibly slow to take action".

He said: "Local residents, businesses and other organisations simply can't afford to wait five and six months for action to be taken by the local authority."

A spokesman from Glasgow City Council said although it did not have any infrastructure that could have caused the movement, officers would support the ongoing work to help solve the issue.

He added: "We are therefore very surprised that the council is being blamed for disruption to local businesses and residents. We do have a duty of care to the public and in all three incidents closed roads until repairs were carried out and it was safe for people to use it again."

A Scottish Water spokesman said the utilities firm had repaired damage to a waste water pipe and a section of road in London Road near Celtic Park between October 2012 and May 2013.

Its investigation showed the sewer was next to a disused railway tunnel and the engineers' report indicated the cause of the subsidence was movement of ground into the tunnel.

The spokesman added that in Millroad Drive, specialist engineers "are of the view that our apparatus has not caused this subsidence."

A spokesman from Highways Agency Historical Railways Estate said it was made aware of the subsidence in both October 2012 and January of this year and carried out inspections.

He added: "In neither case did those additional inspections identify any immediate public safety concerns or evidence of any structural failure.

"Following both of these instances we have worked closely with the relevant utility companies and provided information about our structures where this has been requested."

Local government

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