Working Together to Make our Streets Accessible & Attractive for All

Stakeholder Workshop 13th November 2017 – Summary of Key Points Raised


We know that a high quality public realm encourages greater levels of footfall and increased demand from traders to locate into these spaces.

Q1. How accessible, safe and attractive do you think Edinburgh’s streets are for all users?

 Too much clutter in our streets – definitely scope to be safer, more attractive and more accessible
 We want clutter free, safe, attractive and accessible streets but not sterilised
 Clutter and items which impact on amenity and attractiveness also includes bins, signs, bollards, beggars – not just on-street advertising
 ‘A’ boards etc restrict accessibility of streets especially for those with impairments
 ‘A’ boards etc add nothing to our streets
 Poor quality of pavements, narrow widths in places and poor lighting
 Pavements purpose is for access and structures which restrict this should be removed
 We’re in competition with other cities and need to wake up to realise the impression created by these structures.
 Need to encourage more responsibility from businesses for the public realm and spaces around their business (e.g. sweeping away snow)
 Goods for sale outside premises is attractive so long as it’s not restricting movement


We need to work together to balance the needs of all users of our streets. The vision seeks to maximise the walkability, safety and attractiveness of our streets to benefit all users.

Q2. In delivering the vision, what do you think the barriers are to achieving a city-wide restriction on temporary on-street advertising structures?

 Need a clear plan and justifiable rational
 Consistency in enforcement, do we have the resources? Current restrictions are not enforced properly – how can this change? Just concentrate on high footfall streets?
 Having a deliverable enforcement strategy is critical
 If it is not simple, convincing and fair people will not sign-up
 Need to ensure Council is also working hard to reduce its own street clutter – what is happening across the Council to do this? There should be consistency/fairness in approach to de-cluttering our streets and this should be communicated so that businesses do not feel singled out (street furniture, bins, signs and council advertising etc). CEC should lead by example
 Counter argument that removal of on-street adverts will result in loss of trade
 Challenge is persuading people who have to comply that it’s not difficult, there is a clear plan that is in the interests of the city
 Consider local issues as there is a high volume of people in city centre streets and priorities can depend upon which area you live in
 Communicating effectively the benefits to traders
 Must have consistency of approach
 Signage in closes is a challenge
 Tour board operators have no on-street premises – look at different approach
 Look at how other cities are managing this issue – lessons learnt?


We need to work with traders on helping us deliver the vision and we need to provide support on maximising the advertising potential of their premises.

Q3. How would a city-wide restriction be best implemented (i.e. phased, all at once), and how can we best engage with and support traders through this process?

 Approach needs to be fair, consistent, holistic and well communicated
 Zonal phasing but city wide strategy/approach. Priority in city centre ward, tackle priority streets
 Could look at complete ban during summer festivals and outwith this time with enforcement happening in high footfall areas during the rest of the time
 Look at creative, digital ways to attract footfall (Wi-Fi messaging re local offers)
 Could we use income from enforcement or permit based system? Cost recovery
 Efficiencies could be looked at in terms of joined-up street management i.e. parking inspectors, environmental wardens etc
 Encourage businesses to think about more creative ways to advertise shop front i.e. seats outside, creative window displays. However, Council should leave this to businesses to decide what is best, Council resources best spent on delivering/communicating strategy
 Link to wayfinding
 Need high level of business support / buy-in for this to work
 Communication of strategy must set out clear benefits and be evidence based
 Tell Edinburgh, share the vision beyond the businesses – use ‘Our Edinburgh’
 Demonstrate to businesses why temporary on-street advertising is a problem and encourage them to look at alternatives
 Drop-ins, online questionnaire and visiting premises where possible would be good
 Link in with communication going to businesses on business rates
 Look at tailored approach for outlying areas
 Roll out of trade waste policy was a good model
 Look at other cities

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