Selfish Cowgate parkers ‘putting lives at risk’

A minibus parked on the pavement in the Cowgate causes an obstruction. Picture: Scott Louden
A minibus parked on the pavement in the Cowgate causes an obstruction. Picture: Scott Louden
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SELFISH pavement parkers 
have been accused of putting pedestrians in danger as Festival crowds flock to the Cowgate.

A series of vehicles have been pictured blocking the pavement in recent days, forcing pedestrians to walk on the road.

The situation has become so bad that the Old Town Community Council has now started a petition calling for all vehicles to be banned from parking or loading in the street.

Campaigners also want to have the pavements improved to cope with the increase in revellers.

The area around George IV Bridge has been highlighted as a particular danger.

Bill Cowan, chair of the community council, said it was becoming a real safety hazard. He said: “Cowgate is now a popular pedestrian area – but it wasn’t 15 years ago. In that area, the majority of housing is student accommodation.

“The pubs have been greatly improved in the last few years or so, so that could be attracting more people.

“We are calling on 24-hour double yellow lines and want a total ban on any type of parking.

“It’s the size of the vehicles that are both parking in the street and loading there that’s causing the problem.”

One individual said a van had been parked on a Cowgate pavement for several days and still had not been moved on.

He said: “Thousands of tourists are having to walk on the road to get round some of the vehicles and an accident is waiting to happen.

“The worst area is under George IV Bridge.

“A van has been parked there since at least August 9, and has so far escaped a 
parking ticket.”

According to the community council, many of the Cowgate area’s kerbs are broken, making it difficult for pedestrians to walk on the pavements – without the complication of badly parked vehicles.

Mr Cowan added: “The broken kerbs don’t help. Walking down the street alone is very difficult, never mind trying to push a buggy down there.”

City transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said action would be taken to tackle selfish motorists.

“Mounting the pavement like the driver of the van, where there is a parking restriction in place, is completely unacceptable and a parking offence.

“Obstructing the pavement is a safety risk to pedestrians, sometimes forcing children and people with limited mobility on to the road and often endangering cyclists.

“We know areas like the Cowgate are particularly busy over the Festival period so we will be paying extra attention to parking in these places during August.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com