Covid parking restrictions are ‘business genocide’

Temporary parking restrictions across Edinburgh to make way for social distancing measures have prompted a backlash from businesses.

One shop owner said streets looked like a "war zone" while another described the plan as "genocide" for businesses.

City of Edinburgh Council suspended parking places apart from loading bays and disabled spaces on a number of roads on Monday.

The council said it was trying to create "welcoming spaces" for shoppers.

But some business owners said they had already noticed a drop in customers.

Large cones have been laid along the routes to give pedestrians room to walk along street gutters without being knocked down by cars.

The plan is for these cones to be replaced with more permanent barriers at a later stage.

Zahid Chaudhry, owner of florist and chocolatier Harvest Garden, which has been in Edinburgh's Church Hill area for 37 years, said: "Now with lockdown easing it felt like there was light at the end of the tunnel but it was too good to be true.

"When my customers want to collect their flower arrangements which can be quite heavy, especially for the elderly, are they expected to carry these items up and down the road?

"If my customers cannot easily access my business will they not go to the next easiest option, the supermarket which will more or less put the nail in the coffin of my business?

"Does expanding the pavement that is outside in the open fresh air really provide that much of a benefit? The pros and cons have not really been considered.

"Sacrifices will need to be made but this is just genocide for small businesses."

Donald Nairn, owner of Toys Galore on Morningside Road, said the move was "ridiculously stupid".

He said: "We cried when we heard this and were very upset. We were gasping for breath after being closed for three months and now our customers cannot park here.

"It looks like a war zone with the cones and the whole thing is stupid.

"When you tackle the council about it you learn their world view of things and their desire to protect the world of Covid. Putting cones isn't going to stop it, it's not going to make any difference and we had a collective heart attack about it.

"Nobody is using the extra space, it's just so the council can be seen to be doing something."

Lesley Drummond, owner of dress boutique Vivaldi in Edinburgh's Church Hill, said: "We have lost 43 out of 59 car parking spaces on the street. People are using the loading bays now which means deliveries can't get in.

"I've not had one customer today, which is highly unusual.

"I rely on passing trade from the cafes and delis bringing people into the area so if they die then I am dead too. It's a little ecosystem here."

Mike Billinghurst, owner of 181 Delicatessen in Edinburgh's Bruntsfield, said: "Shopkeepers have been very concerned about their future and then they are hit with this.

"The council has a one size fits all attitude and I think that is not the correct way forward.

"Shops were closed for 100 days and now with this new measure they are concerned and feel like they are being ignored.

"Lots of the public don't even know what the cones are for. It is ill-timed and is another blow to shops."

Anne Ness, owner of Houseproud of Morningside Home Hardware and secretary of the Morningside Traders Association, said: "I'm worried about the effect this is going to have on the business owners as it is exhausting coming oRead More – Source

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