With 58 signs, is this Edinburgh’s most cluttered street?

Orchard Road where there are 58  parking signs.
Orchard Road where there are 58 parking signs.
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It is at first sight a most unremarkable of streets.

But residents in Orchard Road, near Queensferry Road, believe they might just be living in one of the most ridiculously cluttered streets in Scotland.

For the quiet road which is lined with bungalows and flats is home to a staggering 58 pay and display parking signs in the space of around 600m.

The signs – no more than 12m apart in most places – have helped turn the pavements into an obstacle course which is in places impossible to navigate without stepping out into the road. The mess has caused bewilderment among street campaigners and residents are pleading for them – or at least some of them – to be taken away.

There are seven parking meters in the street which service around 61 parking bays – but residents say most of them are usually lying empty.

The council says it sympathises with the residents, but its hands are tied by UK law which demands new signs between the street’s many driveways.

David Grant, 79, a retired British Airways worker, said: “I’ve lived in this street for 29 years and we’ve never had anything like this. You look out your window and all you can see are these pay and display signs – they’re all over the place. I let the tree in my front garden grow so I didn’t have to look at the sign outside my door.

“The whole thing is ridiculous. You see the odd traffic warden on a scooter but hardly anyone parks here and we’ve been left with all these signs.”

Neighbour Lynn Ward, 46, said: “Who invented the rule that you need to have one after every driveway? The thing is the street is empty, no-one parks here.

“There’s three cars in the whole street at the moment, yet we have 58 parking signs. I know neighbours who are letting their hedges grow so they don’t have to look at the signs.”

Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Alex Johnstone said: “The people of Edinburgh know fine well just how over-the-top the parking warden situation is. They don’t need reminded to such ludicrous ­extents. Quite why anyone thought having this many signs was a good use of time or money is a mystery, not to mention the ­adverse impact it has on the street itself.”

David Spaven, of charity Living Streets Edinburgh, which aims to provide more walking-friendly spaces, called for a ­system to tackle problems like unnecessary signage.

He said: “Edinburgh’s pavements are becoming increasingly like obstacle courses for pedestrians.

“What’s really needed is an integrated system of street management, tackling problems like unnecessary signage, so that walking becomes a much more pleasant means of transport, and the street environment is more attractive to the eye.”

A council spokesman said: “The signage requirements to make these regulations enforceable are set out in UK legislation. While the Council seeks to minimise this, the number of signs on Orchard Road are due to the number of driveways present and the requirement to locate signs close to parking bays.”