Edinburgh's Hogmanay gates block bus passengers as they get off 'at every stop' along Princes Street

The pink gates set up on the south side of Princes Street have reduced the pavement space available.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 4:19 pm

Bus passengers are being forced to squeeze out at stops along Princes Street due to the proximity of newly built gates for Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations.

A picture has emerged of one passenger precariously stepping onto a tiny piece of pavement - between the gate and a set of traffic cones - as he disembarked on the south side of the street today.

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Passengers had to squeeze off their bus. Pic: Edinburgh Spotlight.

Edinburgh Spotlight shared the images on twitter along with a post which read: "Just had to squeeze off a bus due to lots of the Hogmanay gates that are taking space away on the pavement *just before the busiest weekend in Edinburgh*"

The post added that the gates are located in front of "every bus stop towards the West End."

Organisers Underbelly were unable to say whether the gates were aligned with all of the bus stops along the south side of Princes Street.

Several tweeters echoed the concerns of Edinburgh Spotlight in the comments thread.

Opposite the M&S. Pic: Edinburgh Spotlight.

One, Andrew Connor, wrote: "Try walking down The Mound. Walked down yesterday and because of support towers for (what I learned later are delay speakers for Hogmanay) there is less than a meter of pavement to walk on without stepping into the road."

Author Ian Rankin also wrote: "Try King’s Stables Road - been shut for weeks. Narrow strip of pavement left. Roadway a car park for Hogmanay crew."

Underbelly have put up the gates, thought to be PA system towers, as part of preparations for the Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations.

A spokeswoman for Underbelly said: "The build for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has begun, and as with previous years some infrastructure has had to go in before Christmas to allow one of the world’s best New Year parties to go ahead.

"With global superstar Mark Ronson headlining and an amazing line up of street theatre and bands across the stages it is going to be a wonderful, colourful, fun-filled night. We hope you can join us, there are a handful of tickets still available."

Edinburgh's Hogmanay

The pictures come as it emerged Edinburgh's world-famous Hogmanay street party and midnight fireworks display will be live-streamed around the world for the first time in the history of the event.

A specially-created five and a half hour TV programme will be broadcast from the event via Facebook, YouTube and the official Hogmanay website.

Organisers will be using their own 16-strong camera crew to capture highlights from the 70,000-capacity arena on and around Princes Street.

They hope the new venture will help persuade people from around the world to experience the Hogmanay festivities for themselves after getting a taste from the TV footage.

Viewers will be able to see street theatre acts drawn from across Europe, as well as acts like Mark Ronson, Marc Almond, Rudimental and Idlewild, heralding the first time any extended coverage of the event will have been available outwith the UK.

Love Island stars The Mac Twins, the DJs and presenters who have hosted the Hogmanay coverage on the giant screens at the event, will be at the helm of the broadcast, which runs from 7.30pm-1am. They will be introduce acts, interviewing artists and rub shoulders with revellers at the event, which has only previously featured on TV news bulletins around the world.

Producers Underbelly have vowed to step up the event’s global profile after creating a TV production for the giant screen inside the main arena when they took it over in 2017.