Spaces for People's planters are fast becoming a Marmite issue for Edinburgh residents

Spaces for People planters have brought about a mixed reaction from Edinburgh residents as the latest initiative turns into a Marmite issue for the Capital.

By Jacob Farr
Thursday, 6th May 2021, 7:00 am

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

Several wooden boxes have begun to appear at the junction of roads that lead to the entrances of schools across Edinburgh.

The idea is to create more space for those travelling to school and to ensure that access is made safer by reducing congestion at school gates.

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But last week the Evening News reported on a ‘planter plonked’ in Baberton which raised the eyebrows of those staying in the area.

Further planter installments have been spotted by our readers outside of Gylemuir Primary School on Broomhall Drive-Wester Broom Place.

Margaret Yeaman, 48, has two children who attend Gylemuir Primary and she is in support of the scheme, she said: “There has long been a significant traffic issue caused, in my view, by parents desperate to park as close as possible to the school. This often makes crossing the roads to the school difficult and dangerous, with poor visibility between cars, especially on Wester Broom Place. The walk to and from school has been much nicer and has felt considerably safer since the planters were implemented.

“They're a good way of signalling the road is restricted and should also be an attractive feature. But ultimately, everyone living and working in the area, including parents of children at the school, need to take responsibility for driving and parking in a considerate manner. Inconsiderate driving is the real problem, not some flowers.”

Planter for Gylemuir primary school.

But not all of the local residents are in favour of the new planter. Dougie MacDonald, 66, is also a local resident of Gylemuir, he said: “I understand the need for traffic control and measures, but things like the planter just don't seem to address any issues.

“In the current climate with wayward youths etc I think it won't be long before they are abused. They may contribute further to road and traffic dangers that already exist in the area.”

He was joined by another local resident, Richard McKean, who said: “As a resident of the street the school is on, I’d say the council have failed to reduce my issues with parents parking for drop off. I now have to contend with half wits reversing onto my driveway to to turn - that is when it’s not been parked over. As for increased safety for school children, the visibility behind these structures is nil, a small child walking out from behind them would stand no chance of being seen until it’s too late.”

Local councillor Mark Brown, said: “We appreciate the intention for safety around schools and that this is paramount. However, this scheme of planters being deposited in streets without adequate notification or consultation has caused more consternation amongst locals rather than having a positive impact in making these streets safe for children going to school.”

Council spokesperson said: “These planters are to restrict access to only allow access for pedestrians and cyclists, creating a safer route for children, families and carers travelling to school as part of the Spaces for People programme.

“Safer access for residents, blue badge holders, school staff, deliveries, waste collection and emergency services will still be allowed when the signage is installed over the coming days.”

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