THE decision to close off the steps at Dynamic Earth seems at best an incredible over-reaction and at worst a ridiculous waste of public funds.
The steps in the ampitheatre design have been in place since the attraction opened in 1999, apparently without incident. Many more examples dating back to Roman times can be found with, we assume, no health and safety concerns raised over the centuries.
Yes they are steep and there is the potential to fall.
But then the same applies to the path up nearby Arthur’s Seat.
You don’t even need to negotiate the steps to access Dynamic Earth as there is a gentle pavement leading up at the side.
So what’s the problem?
Apparently the issue is that one person fell.
That then led to an audit and here we are in the ridiculous position where safety barriers have been erected before a handrail is installed.
Cameron Buchanan today brands the move “health and safety gone mad” and this does seem like one occasion where the cliche applies.
We don’t know the extent of the injuries from the fall last year and it was clearly an upsetting experience but, on the face of it, such a radical move seems like a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
Much like the closure of Calton Hill for the fireworks, this seems to be another case of over-protective officials.
Hazards exist all over the city, but the public does also need to be credited with a bit of common sense.