DOZENS of dead pigeons have been left to rot under North Bridge after becoming trapped in a net designed to stop them from roosting.
Disgusted passers-by said the situation, which has left around 40 dead carcasses in the netting over Market Street, was a serious health hazard.
They called for the site to be cleaned up as a matter of urgency before bits of rotting pigeon started to fall on pedestrians.
The netting, next to Waverley station, was put up by Network Rail last summer in order to stop the birds from roosting on the bridge’s beams and girders.
Despite having an “escape route” for birds which fly into the net, it seems several unlucky ones which breached the defences have become trapped in the netting and have eventually died.
Commuters yesterday called for the rotting carcasses to be cleared by the council, and said it was affecting the image of the Capital.
Tatsiana Mirza, 35, said she initially thought the animals were just roosting.
She said: “I thought they were alive at first but then I saw they were all dead. It’s disgusting.
“It looks like they died when they couldn’t escape. They’re potentially going to have a problem with infection if they start to rot up there. It’s not very hygienic and someone needs to do something about it.”
Sat Patel, 33, from Clermiston, noticed it on his way to work and said it was like a “pigeon graveyard”.
He said: “It’s pretty gross. I think the council needs to clean it up.
“It must pose a health risk. As soon as they start decomposing then bits of them are going to start falling on people.”
Council bosses said the netting was erected to stop the mess caused by pigeon droppings, as birds commonly roosted under the bridge. They also wanted to protect people walking below.
There are escape holes in the netting but it does not appear to have worked.
Student Michael Chung, 18, said it was an eyesore to anyone visiting the Capital.
He said: “Every time I walk under it I’m mortified by it. It’s horrible. I don’t really want decomposing pigeons dropping on me.
“It’s not creating a nice image for people coming to the city.”
Amad Kayami, 20, from the Pleasance, said the measures were not effective and that they were creating more mess.
“The system they are using at the moment obviously isn’t working because there’s so many dead birds up there.
“Even if they clean them up there will just be more dead pigeons unless they do something about the net.”
A spokesman for Network Rail said it had erected the netting on behalf of the city council but was not responsible for its management.
He said: “We put it up on behalf of the local authority during bridge works last summer.
“We don’t have any responsibility for pigeons and the ongoing management of it is a matter for the council.”
A council spokesman said: “We are aware that some pigeons have entered the netting under North Bridge and will liaise with Network Rail to remedy this.”