Claims repair work neglected before man was impaled

A police officer stands guard at the scene of the accident. Picture: Greg Macvean
A police officer stands guard at the scene of the accident. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Residents and business owners near the site of a ­horrific accident that saw a man impaled on iron railings have blasted the “shocking” state of pavements in the Capital.

Locals said the uneven and cracked pavement caused walkers to trip and fall “every day”, and said repairs in the New Town were being neglected in favour of Princes Street.

And residents claimed that despite the street being marked up for repairs by council staff, few improvements have been made in recent years.

However, the council claimed no complaints have been made about the pavements on Dundas Street, and that a “thorough investigation” found no defects that could have caused Thursday’s horror accident.

Three railings had to be cut away as police, paramedics and firefighters using hydraulic equipment sought to free the man who was impaled through the jaw by an iron spike.

Lukas Sobstyl, who works at Christopher Ness Jewellery just a few steps away from where the incident happened, witnessed the rescue.

He said: “We heard the commotion, and when we came out he was already hanging there.

“The council came and ­replaced some of the paving earlier this year, but as you can see, it’s still not very level.

“Every day you can see people tripping up over it.” David Duncan, who helps run a family business on Dundas Street, called the condition of the thoroughfare “shocking”, and said despite uneven portions of the pavement being marked up by workmen within the past year, a full repair has never been carried out.

Mr Duncan said: “The few paving stones that they did replace, most of them have cracked. So they’ve done a pretty half-hearted job. Since then we’ve had the gas company dig up parts of the pavement and leave a perfect job behind, because at least they know what they’re doing.

“The pavements aren’t good at all in Edinburgh. I’ve never seen Dundas Street resurfaced properly. They’ve clearly neglected it and put their money elsewhere.

“They’ve got to think about it – especially if people are getting hurt.”

The cause of the incident is not yet known. Details of the man, whose injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, have not been released by the emergency services.

A council spokesperson said: “We have had no reports regarding defective paving slabs on the section of Dundas Street where the accident happened.

“One of our road inspectors went to the area yesterday afternoon and carried out a thorough investigation. No defects were found that could have caused anyone to fall into the railings. A barrier has now been put up to protect the cut-off railings.”