Anger at ‘egg the trams’ poster

Stuart Wardell, left, and Grant McKeeman with the poster. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Stuart Wardell, left, and Grant McKeeman with the poster. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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IT has been labelled a “tongue-in-cheek” marketing gag, but not everyone has seen the funny side of a poster jokingly encouraging people to egg the city’s new trams.

The cheeky promotional poster for a West End printing company urges people to throw eggs at the carriages when they start running – with prizes offered for the “biggest splat”.

But the call, made by the printing outlet Copymade in West Maitland Street, has caused a stir with both the police and the council ­branding it irresponsible.

Normally reserved for ­politicians and their ilk, egging usually becomes a criminal act the moment one is hurled.

Police could arrest throwers for a number of offences including criminal damage and breach of the peace.

But store owners Grant McKeeman and Stuart Wardell defended the art, saying the catchy poster was a joke and not designed to start anything.

However, the pair agreed to take down the poster and remove it from their website following an order from police.

The poster’s countdown had referred to the opening of the eight-mile line from Edinburgh Airport to York Place, which is scheduled for May at the latest.

The flyer had also jokingly claimed “feathers and flour are optional” for those wanting to take out their frustration on the maligned project. A long line of anti-tram posters have filled the shop window displays at Copymade, with Silence of the Trams – a play on the Hannibal Lecter thriller – among the most popular.

Mr McKeeman has been a long-running critic of the trams, having lost an estimated £2000 a week while tram works closed the street at his store. He said of the poster: “We’ve been accused of inciting a riot already. It’s hugely tongue in cheek.

“We’re not seriously thinking about egging trams and we’re not standing outside selling wheelbarrow loads of eggs to the school kids. We’ve had a couple of people that have taken exception to it. We’re trying to get a ­message over obviously at the same time, but doing it in a good-humoured way. Hopefully most people see that.”

But city transport convener Lesley Hinds was not amused, saying: “This is completely inappropriate and irresponsible. Whatever anyone’s views on the trams are, no-one should be encouraging any sort of vandalism in Edinburgh.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said it was believed the art could be construed as “inciting action of vandalism against the trams”.

However, the poster has also had its share of fans, including Haymarket trader Alison Adamson-Ross. She said: “If it’s only eggs they are ­throwing at the tram, I think they are getting off lightly.”