What's big and yellow but definitely not a taxi? - Kevin Buckle
When a bright yellow container appeared outside the Waverley Bridge entrance to Waverley Market last Saturday it looked more than a little out of place – and not just because of the colour.
By Sunday half of the container was covered by two signs saying SECURE BAG STORE. This was even stranger as there is a Luggage Point just yards away in Waverley Market providing exactly that service and of course luggage cam also be left at the station.
Quite why the council would have given a permit for this new service nobody knew but we all assumed it was just “the council being the council”. If nothing else the container appeared to pose several safety issues.
I tweeted a picture of the container and received a reply from city centre councillor Jo Mowat saying she had already seen it and would speak to officials on the Monday.
By Wednesday I had received an email from Jo to say the container wouuld be going after working with the transport convener Scott Arthur who tweeted explaining the container had no Road Occupation Licence, no Street Trader’s Licence and among other things affected cycling and busking space.
Quite how this could have happened is still to be revealed as I write this on Thursday night and it was still trading when I left work, though I would certainly hope it will be gone this weekend.
Assuming all goes well the councillors do need to be congratulated on dealing with this quickly something that people don’t normally associate with Edinburgh Council.
However it isn’t all good news in that only yards from the container is the sort of street clutter that is frowned upon throughout the year only to be deemed perfectly acceptable in August.
On the corner of Princes Street and Waverley Bridge is a huge square hoarding advertising Fringe shows. As usual the space outside the roof of Waverley Market is dangerously busy just now with increased numbers both waiting at the bus stops and leaving the station which is then exaccerbated by all the visitors and locals trying to get from one place to another.
Just as there finally is a large space where all this crowding can dissipate the council have allowed a huge hoarding. Should of course local businesses ask to have use of such advertisng they would be laughed out of town by the council.
At the west end of Princes Street matters are even worse, especially at the corner with Lothian Road. Also, shows are now starting to use the boarded up shops on Princes Street to flypost with impunity, which if not checked will soon lead to a free-for-all.
Certainly most of the customers I have had at Avalanche have been families or couples just visiting Edinburgh without any interest in the Festival and much as people would say about Venice their comment is what a lovely place it is and it is just a shame about it being so crowded.
So a minor victory for the new administration but the real test will come this Christmas and New Year when no doubt there will be a host of new problems to attend to.