I don’t know Roddy Smith or his research into the impact of stag and hen parties on the city’s residents but it seems to be his job with Essential Edinburgh to come out in support of them. Like hundreds of residents who live in Grassmarket, I have direct experience of the Party City and it’s far from good.
The biggest hotels in Grassmarket are the Apex International and the Apex City, originally sold to locals as “family hotels” that we would learn to love. The happy families theme did not last long and these hotels have been accommodating hens and stag parties for many years now. We haven’t come to love the hotels and we haven’t come to love their hen and stag customers. What’s to like about gangs of screaming grown-ups in fancy dress, drunk as skunks, urinating and puking in people’s doorways and pends? But we see them all the same and can safely vouch for the fact that ALL of them are being served alcohol in ALL the pubs when ALL of them are clearly way over the permitted limit. What’s to celebrate about a culture promoting idiocy and inebriation on a scale that should be a national embarrassment?
I have lived here for close to 40 years, raised a family of four and made good use of local nurseries, schools, libraries and other great public services – and experienced a steady decline in the quality of life. Traffic congestion and air pollution are noted as “poor” by EU regulations. Buses, taxis, cars and delivery vehicles clutter up the road with no regard for road regulations; they park on double yellows, pedestrian crossings, pavements, corners, double park and dispatch passengers on to busy oncoming traffic.
And how did Grassmarket, with 600 residents, become an “Events Space”? We have street activities ranging from night-time bike rides to markets and everyone of them brings noise. There is no strategy for these, neither the council nor the Business Improvement District seem to want regulations so management is poor or overstretched.
The residents of the city value the place they live, they want to encourage visitors who respect this. Maybe Roddy needs to look closely at his own standards before selling the city so cheaply.
Janet Dick is a long-term resident of the Grassmarket