Furious owners of an award winning café have accused the city council of leaving a coastal Edinburgh beauty spot to “rack and ruin” and discriminating against their business.
Owners of the Boardwalk Beach Club on Cramond foreshore have blasted the council for “blocking” proposals to improve “inadequate” facilities on the three-mile stretch of promenade overlooking the Forth.
Cafe owners Eddie and Sarah Tait submitted first submitted requests to the council in 2016 asking for improved facilities including lighting, bus services and parking.
Among the proposals was a request for 20 bike racks to be installed in front of the café and up to 30 additional racks at locations along the stretch from Cramond village through Silverknowes Beach to Gypsy Brae.
Cyclists currently chain bikes to signs, benches, around bins or lying on the grass. Mr Tait says the lack of storage leaves bikes at risk of theft and puts cyclists off using the promenade.
After a visit from the Cycling team the council said they supported their proposals but representatives from the Parks team later intervened, advising they couldn’t install racks on the grounds because they would be a health and safety risk as “runners could run into them.”
Several weeks ago the council delivered a bin to the quiet promenade spot spoiled with graffiti. A photo of the offending dumpster was posted on the café’s social media and the city council was ridiculed in more than 300 “Bingate” comments.
But the couple says they “had enough” when the council blocked their proposals for bike racks.
Mr Tait, 44, said: “We have done so much for the area to make it safe, busy and put it on the map. This area is such a hidden gem of Edinburgh’s shoreline but it has not fulfilled it’s potential. We want to trade it up and make the space better for the thousands coming here. Lots of cycling groups use the promenade, summer school cycling groups and lots of families. Kids come here to learn to ride their bike.
“The council told us bike racks would be a health and safety risk as runners could ‘run into the racks’ and they told us we were asking them to favour our business. But we were not asking them to put racks only outside our café. We asked for them at different locations along the promenade.
“The promenade has been totally neglected by the council yet the place is jumping with more visitors than ever. Even on an overcast day you can see cars parked all the way up Silverknowes Road visiting Silverknowes Beach – yet no bus services within one mile, no beach signs, no facilities. It’s a scandalous waste.”
Edinburgh City Council denied claims they blocked the café’s proposals. A council spokesperson said, “The council agrees that this area would benefit from increased bike parking and as such has committed to the installation of additional secure bike racks along the promenade at Cramond and Silverknowes as part of a wider programme, which will enable individuals and families to lock up bikes and enjoy all the local facilities.”