Outrage as van driver parks on new Saughton Park flowerbed

The van was photographed on the flowerbed
The van was photographed on the flowerbed
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A DODGY driver has sparked outrage after leaving his van on a newly laid flowerbed which is part of a multi-million-pound revamp of a Capital park.

Volunteers have given up their time to help with planting as the £6.7 million regeneration of Saughton Park nears completion.

But there was disbelief after a works van was photographed parked on one of the beds early on Saturday morning.

“It was so disappointing to see as the area is so important to the community, and a lot of volunteer planting has happened in the last couple of weeks,” said one passer-by.

“Too much space and priority is given to motorised transport in this area already – an area that contains the gardens, play park, skate park, library, nursery school and a primary school. This photo could be used to sum up a lot of problems for all the users of the ­facilities in this area.”

The Evening News understands that red-faced bosses of the firm whose van was involved have now contacted the council.

Green councillor Gavin Corbett said: “The restoration of Saughton Park is almost completed and it has been a real labour of love for the project team, the local friends group and dozens of volunteers.

“People are going to be bowled over by just how fantastic the park is when it reopens.

“So it is really disappointing to see such blatant disregard for all the work done, especially by a local business.

“To be fair on the company in question, the boss has shared his dismay at the use of his van in this way and has promised to take firm action. I do hope that firm action includes fully restoring the plants and bedding area.

“It is also a wider message for some of the ‘Wild West’ parking that goes on around Saughton Park. Let’s respect the park and recognise just what an asset it is to the area.”

The renovation of Saughton Park began last August and is the largest project of its kind in Scotland, with the park scheduled to reopen in December.

Work includes landscaping, replanting of floral beds, construction of a new café and the refurbishment of the park’s winter garden.

Restoration of the park’s 110-year-old bandstand has been completed, as has a mile of new pathways and the planting of thousands of roses, shrubs and other greenery.

The project was given £3.8m of Heritage Lottery Funding, and an additional £99,000 from WREN’s FCC Scottish Action Fund to contribute to a new children’s playground. It also benefited from almost £50,000 from the SUEZ Communities Trust for a multi-use games area.

Other improvements will be the restoration of the park’s stable block as a community venue and base for project partners the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society.

Karen Doran, the council’s transport and environment vice-convener, said of the parking: “We expect visitors to Saughton Park to park responsibly and take care of the newly-planted entrance, which has been renovated as part of the multi-million-pound restoration of the park.”