Leith Walk 'free sex?' sign jokes about impact of tram works and Spaces For People on local businesses

An owner of a business on Leith Walk has erected a sign at his window to joke about the lack of support businesses in the area are receiving as tram works and the Spaces for People scheme impact on business.

Derri Forde, owner of Inform Signs and Graphics on Leith Walk, has said his business may not survive as a result of tram works and Spaces for People affecting his ability to successfully trade.

He has put up a sign, praised over social media, which reads: “Want Free Sex? Just open a business on Leith Walk and get f****d every day.”

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The sign has a picture of Leith Walk tram works underneath it.

The sign outside Inform Signs and Graphics on Leith Walk jokes about the impact tram works has had on local businesses (Photo: CJ Murray and Lisa Ferguson).

Mr Forde said the sign has seen a positive response from members of the public.

The 39-year-old business owner said: “We’ve always got humorous signs that we put outside our business.

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“Normally we put up signs in light of what is going on. For example, we have got a few to do with coronavirus which went viral.”

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Talking about the reasons behind the most recent sign, Mr Forde said: "This one is to do mainly with the tram works because we’ve got so many issues with it that we have now seen a massive decline in customers.

“Even existing loyal customers have been lost because they don’t want to come down to Leith Walk any more.”

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One of the main issues for Mr Forde’s business is the removal of loading bay facilities in the area such as those now closed on Iona Street.

“Most of our stuff is long lengths of steel or metal, which is very hard to handle and walk down the street off,” he said.

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“For us now to come in with our van of supplies, we’ve got to take an hour-and-a-half journey when it used to be a 30-second journey.

“By the end of the week I’ve maybe lost £400 a week in time and our fuel costs have now almost quadrupled due to tram works and Spaces for People making us sit in traffic and lose time.

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"They [the council] say they are trying to reduce the carbon footprint, but it’s having the opposite effect by putting traffic at a standstill.”

Edinburgh City Council were contacted for comment.

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