Disabled people feel ‘trapped in their own homes’ due to uncontrolled crowds in Edinburgh’s Old Town, according to one concerned resident.
Euan Andrews, 47, a long term resident of Old Town, suffered a stroke during the Fringe Festival six years ago which left him with complex mobility problems.
Mr Andrews, who has lived in Old Town for 15 years, says that he feels ‘pushed out of his own home’ due to the increasingly ‘out of control’ crowds during Edinburgh’s festival period.
The medically-retired office worker spoke of the ‘terror’ he felt when venturing outside his front door in the summer months.
He said: “I get down to the street off Forest Road and immediately walk into hundreds of people, I can’t even see the street. And the road is a mess of congestion. It’s terrifying frankly. Even just trying to cross the road is scary.”
Mr Andrews said that he ‘lives in fear for his life’ due to the added difficulties his disability makes navigating the busy streets in summer.
He said: “I’m scared about being hit by a bus or by one of the delivery vans that are thundering around”
“I walk with a stick and my right side is sensitive and I am unsteady on my feet, if I fall over I can’t just get up and brush myself off, it will be a potential ambulance scene.”
Mr Andrews says living in Old Town during the summer feels like you are ‘at the main stage of Glastonbury for a whole month’ and the issue ‘keeps getting worse’ each year as the festival grows.
He said: “Each year it gets bigger and bigger, it’s already started. The usual advertising posts and crash barriers have been erected making already highly congested streets around my home downright dangerous.
“I really like where I live but it’s gotten to the point that I think the council should say that Old Town is uninhabitable, there is just no realistic way that I can live there during the summer.”
A Fringe Society spokesman said: “The Society takes its responsibilities very seriously to ensure Edinburgh residents and visitors can access the Fringe and the wider city, irrespective of their access needs.
“We are working with over 30 charities and communities groups across Edinburgh to build lasting connections between the Fringe and the city’s residents through our Fringe Days Out scheme.”