Royal Mile's rowdy shops ordered to pipe down

SHOPS on the Royal Mile have been banned from playing loud music on to the city centre street as part of a new crackdown by the City of Edinburgh Council.

The most persistent offenders could have their sound systems seized as part of plans that have followed discussions with traders about how to improve the historic street.

Extra environmental officers are to be deployed as part of the initiative and shops will be warned if they limit space for pedestrians.

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Councillor Joanna Mowat, who represents the city centre, said: "A hard-line approach to music coming out of shops would be very welcome, because I get a lot of complaints about that.

"People feel that it lowers the tone of the area.

"If you can walk past and your eye is not drawn to the goods then you can't avoid the music.

"I would certainly welcome a tougher line on this - it is something I have asked for, residents have asked for and I know MSPs have asked for too."

The crackdown comes after a meeting with traders and council officials, where concerns were raised about the volume of music being played outside shops, rails of goods being displayed on the street, clutter in shopfronts and other items blocking the street.

A city council spokesman said: "While most shops do operate responsibly, there remain specific examples where this is not the case and, from Monday, council officers will be patrolling the city centre to ensure that displays are what we would consider to be reasonable - as agreed with traders.

"Officers will also ensure that no music is played from speakers situated outside of shopfronts."

However, traders questioned the council's approach.

Geoffrey Nicholsby, who runs a kiltmaker on the High Street, said: "There are piles and piles of tack on the street, so that needs to be the priority.

"I don't think the music is really that important."

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