If tourists are charged to use Royal Mile, will there be an accent test? – Steve Cardownie

Interesting to note that the Scottish Government’s consultation exercise on the introduction of a tourist tax for Edinburgh contains the suggestion: “Could a levy on day visitors be collected at entry points to a particular area – for example pedestrian access to certain streets or at tolls on certain roads?”

Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 6:00 am
Could tourists end up being charged a fee to walk down the Royal Mile? Picture: Ian Rutherford

In other words tourists could be charged for walking down the High Street, for example.

Just how you would differentiate a tourist from a resident has not been explained, nor the definition of a tourist – from Glasgow or Gdansk, from Barnsley or Barcelona?

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Tourist Tax: Edinburgh tourists could be charged for walking on Royal Mile

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Perhaps they will install voice recognition machines at the entry points to various streets where any trace of a foreign accent would entail the coughing up of a fee.

Any hint of an east European accent or a New York drawl and the debit/credit card would have to make an unscheduled appearance.

If any streets in Leith are included in the scheme the utterance of the words “Ah sty doon this street ya radge, yer no gettin’ a bolt fae me” would undoubtedly guarantee the individual concerned unfettered free access to their humble abode!