Repair the city campaign

Time to repair Edinburgh’s streets of shame

West Register poleImagine you have just paid hundreds, maybe thousand of pounds to travel across the world to see the city just voted among Europe’s most beautiful.

You’ve booked a room in the prestigious Balmoral Hotel with its magnificent bedroom views over the old town and the castle.

Then you venture out into the city. Oh dear. There’s a beggar sitting below the statue of the Duke of Wellington; buses splash puddles from the crumbling road junction at North Bridge.

Cross over to the new Apple store, but be careful. Just look at that broken pavement (left), the weeds and litter, and the grotty unused pole. Sadly, it has been like that for years.

Yes, this is the real Edinburgh. A mucky, broken mess of cracked and dangerous pavements, potholed roads and scruffy street furniture.

Ever noticed how many unused grey poles, that no longer bear any signs or instructions, are scattered around the city? Hundreds. They add to the cluttered street furniture and are an eyesore. They are also multiplying (more of this in another post).

pole in Waverley Bridgeunfinished work at WaverleyWhat is that unused pole doing stuck in the middle of repaved Waverley Bridge (far left). The workmen have actually cut the paving around it! And why hasn’t the repaving been finished which means we now have patches of tarmac around lamp posts (near left)?

Our Balmoral visitor may head to the famous birthplace of Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle in Picardy Place where he would have to negotiate a patchwork of unsightly tarmac (below left) outside the pub that bears his name.

Opposite the sign indicating where the great man lived is another regular tramp who is usually surrounded with litter, some of which finds its way into the nearby telephone kiosk (below right).

All this is embarrassing. Residents have probably stopped noticing the mess, while visitors must be suspending their real experience to give the city the benefit of the doubt. Let’s just hope they go home with memories of the city’s best bits.

These issues will feature here on a regular basis until Edinburgh City Council tidies up the mess.

conan doyle pavement

Picardy Place litter

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