Traders on one of the city centre’s busiest shopping streets have blasted the state of the road surface – which has caused countless trips and falls and left at least two people in hospital.
Business owners on Rose Street said the state of the historic boulevard was appalling and called the number of injuries “scary”. One woman had her teeth knocked out after tripping on loose paving stones, while another broke a hip in a fall.
They say dozens more people have been sent sprawling because repairs are delayed or of poor quality, and called on the council to do more to improve the “unloved” shopping street.
An effort is now being made to create a local traders’ association to try and exert greater pressure on the city over the wobbly and uneven surfaces.
Lin Cherrington, owner of the Creative Cookware shop, said she had personally witnessed several falls.
“The cobbles have eroded, and they came and filled them in a few months ago, but the same thing has happened.
“The number of trips and falls is just scary – one woman broke her front teeth. An ambulance had to be called and she was in quite a bad state.”
Ms Cherrington added that compared to historic shopping alleys in York and Brighton, the condition of Rose Street was a “mess” and was putting off visitors.
“When anything gets dug up for utilities, there is this beautiful paving along Rose Street and they just fill it up with tarmac,” she said. “It just looks as if its not loved.
“You’ve got this beautiful street which is a hidden gem of Edinburgh, and it’s a mess. It doesn’t create a good impression.”
Charles Galloway, the area manager for pub firm DM Stewart, which owns The Abbotsford, said decorative rose-shaped paving dotted along the street was also crumbling, after a botched repair following gas works.
He said: “They didn’t do a particularly good job of back-filling, so now we’ve got a really bad trip hazard around that rose. It has dropped about four inches. One of the roses was so bad they actually took it out and just tarmacked over.
“What you have now is a hodgepodge of patches of tarmac and mono-blocks – it is a mess.”
A council spokeswoman said: “We are aware that the footway on Rose Street is in need of work, and the council is intending to carry out an improvement programme on the section between Hanover and Frederick Street under the roads capital budget.
“The area is regularly inspected to ensure any dangerous faults are fixed as soon as possible but we would encourage anyone who has noticed a problem with a road or pavement to report it.”