Edinburgh residents create their own spaces for people - by clearing overgrown pavements

Residents of East Craigs have taken matters into their own hands and hit out at Edinburgh City Council for failing to clear public pavements on Maybury Road.

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 7:00 am
Residents creating their own 'Spaces for People'

A group of around twelve local residents have spent their weekends and spare time clearing the pathways along Maybury Road.

At a two metre distance and abiding by Covid government guidelines, the group has cleared the walkway that runs down from the junction at Craig’s Road to the Shell garage as well as up the adjacent western pavement.

George McLeish has been the driving force behind the local "safer pavements" project and began tackling the longstanding problem four weeks ago with his friend Ian Paxston - a former British Lions player that was capped 36 times for Scotland.

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One of the pathways cleared by volunteers

They were later joined by volunteers from East Craigs Rigg.

They have taken action after a battle spanning the best part of a decade failed to result in the council effectively managing the space.

This led George to ask the council to sort out their existing pavements and road surfaces before undertaking initiatives like Spaces for People as well as to look towards working collaboratively with residents moving forward.

George said: “The issue of overgrown vegetation on these stretches of road have been ongoing for the best part of a decade and on several occasions I highlighted this to the council.

“But thanks to the work of our community volunteers we have managed to clear around two to three foot of pavement space.

“I am not opposed to Spaces for People plans in their entirety but the plans for East Craigs and Craigmount are unwarranted. The council really should focus on maintaining and fixing the existing pedestrian infrastructure within our community first.”

Transport and environment convener councillor Lesley Macinnes said that she welcomed the efforts by the community and commends the various groups across the city who maintain their neighbourhoods.

She added: “We have worked to address overhanging vegetation in different parts of Maybury Road over recent years and encourage those landowners with hedges or gardens along the road to ensure it isn’t hanging over the footpath.

“We’d like to thank this group of residents for their hard work to help clear the footpath and would be more than happy to work collaboratively with them in future.”

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