Telfer subway visit

Last week I visited the Telfer Subway and met up with representatives of Edinburgh City Council and Lothian and Borders police.

Back in November I launched a petition calling on the council and police to work together to install CCTV in the subway.  I have received countless correspondence from constituents questioning the safety of the subway and highlighting their own fears of using it. This is not surprising considering the recent incidents which have occurred, including robberies, intimidation and a serious sexual assault in 2009. 

Last week’s meeting has highlighted that the overriding reason for the Council not improving CCTV coverage at the Telfer subway is due to cost.  I have been told that Edinburgh City Council have not added new CCTV cameras since 2008/2009 due to the sheer expense of installing and maintaining them.  This unacceptable given the safety concerns people locally have.  I will continue to keep up the pressure on the issue. 

I made it clear at the meeting that if the subway was a road, there would be no question of finding money in the budget if it became dangerous for any reason.  The subway is the equivalent of a main road for many pedestrians. It links key parts of the local community and the issue of safety needs to be addressed. It was obvious on the visit how well used the tunnel is with many people passing through within the hour we were there.

There are currently cameras which cover the entrances to the subway, but they are not constant and cover other areas as well.  The inside of the tunnel has no coverage.  I am strongly of the view that to make the subway safer there should be at least two static CCTV cameras with a permanent fixture inside the tunnel, in addition to the current set up.

I will continue to keep up the pressure and call for both the council and the police to work together to help make Telfer subway safer for all.