Wednesday 14 August 2019

More about Edinburgh during the festival

There has been quite a lot of discussion this year, particularly on Twitter, about how much the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is impacting on life for the people who actually live in this city. I blogged about it here and also tweeted the photo below

which shows how part of the pavement on Princes Street (the main street in the centre of town) has ugly barriers erected along it at certain times of day. These are to stop people either climbing on the benches or climbing on the railings to see the private, ticketed concerts that are happening in the main public gardens of the city.

Years ago, during the festival, there were lovely free lunchtime concerts in Princes Street Gardens. I used to go to these whenever I could, they were really enjoyable, showcasing a range of bands from across the world. Nowadays though major bands play in the gardens, which are shut to the public and the knock on effect is that the pavements look like this. The buses are often gridlocked at this time of year, so people jump off the buses onto the pavements only to find the pavements are gridlocked too. People who may want to sit down, either because they have poor mobility or just because they want to relax during a busy day can't do so, it's almost impossible for wheelchairs or pushchairs to get past and at times pedestrians are almost literally pushed into the road, plus the legs on the barriers are real trip hazards. The pavements on the other side of the road are wider, but to get to the other side of the road you have to push your way through the crowds here to get to a safe crossing place.

There are many wonderful things happening during the festivals in Edinburgh, but this year it really does feel as though the festivals are too big, too disruptive to life for city residents and too disrespectful of the greenspaces and architecture of the city, which after all are as much a part of the Edinburgh experience (this is a World Heritage site after all) as the festivals are.

My photo above proved very popular on Twitter and was also picked up by the Edinburgh Evening News to use to illustrate this article (though originally they credited the photo to someone else and I had to contact them to correct them).


I'm delighted that I have a 50 word story up now on the 50 word story website. You can read it here (and if you like it, click on the like button too!).


Jamie Purves said...

Very good piece on the transformed streets of Edinburgh and its new and anti-social proliferation of ugly barriers.Not a good idea.The Council is keen to maximize visitors to the Capital but they are being treated increasingly unsympathetically like cattle. Worse still for the residents!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

It's a bit antagonistic for the native city dwellers

Jeff said...

having lived in a city (a large town, really) known for its festivals, I can relate. Sometimes you get so tired of dealing with crowd control and roads blocked for parades, etc.

Anonymous said...

i think the benches need to place outside the pavement. it's right for people can sit for a while resting they leg before continue the walking.
nice point
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