Security has been increased around the steps from Cemetery Road to Ironmills Park, Dalkeith, because of concerns local people have still been accessing the steps.
Locked gates and more fencing have been erected to protect the public from landslip problems in the area. The landslip has worsened significantly since January.
After heavy rainfall in January, further cracks appeared on the steps and also at the top of the embankment. A large amount of sands and gravels was also washed of the cliff. There’s a real danger a large section of embankment could collapse.
Councillor Derek Rosie (SNP), the cabinet member for parks and open spaces, said: “We’re obviously worried about further landslips. However, we’re even more concerned there might be someone who tries to take a shortcut via the steps and gets caught up in any future landslips.
“Please stay away from the steps and use the alternative route via Old Edinburgh Road and Ironmills Road instead.”
The decision to shut the steps came just over a year since the steps reopened on a temporary basis and then on a more long term basis as the slope suffered no further movement.
The steps were last closed and off limits to pedestrians from March 2013 to December 2014, again because of landslip problems.
In September 2014, the council agreed to spend around £58,000 in total to take expert advice on the likely causes of the land slip and to provide advice on the options available to stabilise the slope. This funding was also to take measures to reinstate the steps and path at Ironmills.
The funding to date has mainly been used on site investigation, specialist fees and a limited amount of onsite works (i.e. drains to divert rainwater from the slope, tree thinning and planting of willow understory).
Further advice from the appointed consultants is being sought at this time.