The former chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association has launched a scathing attack on the capital over a series of environmental and infrastructure gaffes which have “ruined” the city.
David Frost, who recently resigned his post at SWA to become a special advisor to Boris Johnson, said Edinburgh was no longer “the jewel in Scotland’s crown” describing it as “filthy” and “unfriendly to both cars and pedestrians at the same time.”
Mr Frost, a distinguished former diplomat who spent three years living in the city while also Brexit adviser to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, praised Glasgow for its “amazing life and big city feel, and enough get-up-and-go to succeed with new powers through devolution and city deals.”
But the former British ambassador to Denmark hit out at dirty streets and poor planning decisions for ruining his view of the capital.
“Princes Street should be the most beautiful street in Europe, but instead it’s permanently clogged by buses and street furniture,” he wrote in an article for The Times today.
“I will take away as images from Edinburgh not just the castle and the New Town, but sadly also filthy streets, overflowing refuse bins and Georgian terraces ruined by endless, brightly-coloured recycling skips.”
“I remain baffled, like the tourists pulling their suitcases along Princes Street, by a tram system with no stop at the main railway station, or by how Edinburgh planners have pulled off the difficult trick of making the city unfriendly to both cars and pedestrians at the same time. This won’t be good enough in future. Outside the EU, our country will need to be ruthlessly focused on its competitive strengths.”
Mr Frost also questioned the prolonged dispute over the use of the former Royal High School, saying: “The real scandal is not the Calton development or even the new St James hotel but the fact that the Royal High School is decaying amid a seemingly endless attempt to find the perfect plan to restore it.”