Council U-turns on pledge to remove barriers on Princes Street

Barriers to stop the public from getting free views down into the Ross Bandstand during the Summer Sessions have not been fully removed, despite a pledge by council leader Adam McVey to have them taken down.

The 10ft high hoardings were erected to stop passers-by from getting a glimpse of performers such as Sir Tom Jones, Bastille, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Paloma Faith and Kasabian.

Members of the public, councillors and heritage bodies took to social media to vent their distaste at the barriers, stating that Princes Street Gardens is a public park area and that iconic views of Edinburgh Castle should not be undermined by commercial events.

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Princes Street barriers removed - but pavement closes to stop free view
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The strong reaction against the barriers was soon picked up by council leader Adam McVey, who promised on Twitter to remove them.

He pledged on Saturday afternoon: “This is a public space & these are public views. Ticketed events cannot put up barriers which are to the detriment of the city. I’ve asked officers to remove ASAP & for a guarantee that these won’t be erected for any future events.”

On Monday, a compromise was agreed which would have seen part of Princes Street’s pavement cordoned off and one bus stop closed.

The barriers will still be put up despite public complaints.The barriers will still be put up despite public complaints.
The barriers will still be put up despite public complaints.

However, Cllr McVey tweeted yesterday that, “following police input”, screens would be erected lower than previously and then removed after the concert, maintaining pedestrian access and protecting public views during the day.

Angry locals took to Twitter to condemn the latest news.

@wjquinnauthor fumed: “So basically you’re putting the problem back up, just on a different timescale? That’s a fudge sadly.”

@ben_spigel added: “Why are you still blocking the public’s view of a publicly owned garden? Just because someone is in the bandstand doesn’t make it not a public place.”

Alan Inglis tweeted: “Oh dear. Bit of a climb down”

Jeanie Laub added: “This should be kept as a park it’s a very fast moving destruction of Edinburgh.. believe it or not there are still people living here”