Scottish Conservative MSP Sue Webber has joined with local business the Vittoria Group to once again voice opposition to Edinburgh’s Space for People scheme.
Sue is calling for the SNP/Labour administration on Edinburgh City Council to listen to the views of local businesses such as the Vittoria Group, who are hitting out at the negative impact the scheme is having on their business. She says that if the scheme continues, it could seriously impact the city’s recovery with the lifting of most Covid restrictions planned for 9 August. The council’s public consultation on the scheme which received almost 18,000 responses found that a majority of local people oppose the policy, with a specific business consultation also finding traders are overwhelmingly against Spaces for People.
Sue, who is also an Edinburgh City Councillor says jobs are at threat and that she is frustrated that the SNP/Labour administration are making life unnecessarily difficult for businesses.
Scottish Conservative MSP Sue Webber said: “The spaces for people scheme have been causing major controversy across the city ever since they were introduced. If Edinburgh’s SNP-Labour administration continue to ignore residents and businesses, they could seriously hamper the recovery of the city.
“We hope that we will move beyond Level 0 on 9 August which will be of great relief for people and businesses who have made huge sacrifices for well over a year.
“However, our council administration continues to make life so unnecessarily difficult through this scheme and it is a source of huge frustration.
“Businesses and employees have shown great resilience through lockdown and continued restrictions during the pandemic. They should be being supported at every turn by the council who should be creating an environment to support economic growth and protect jobs.
“Edinburgh City Council are pressing ahead with this policy that is doing the exact opposite. The administration are suppressing economic recovery and creating unnecessary challenges for already struggling businesses.
“It is time for them to urgently listen to the views of local businesses who are rightly opposed to this scheme continuing, rather than refusing to engage with them.”
Alberto Crolla, of the Vittoria Group who own Vittoria on the Bridge, said: “The current state of the George IV Bridge is a disaster for local businesses. However, Edinburgh City Council are not listening to us and are refusing to clarify what is happening with Spaces for People scheme on this road.
“Our customers, and those of other nearby businesses have severely restricted access while delivery drivers are facing daily challenges as there is now nowhere for larger vehicles to stop on George IV Bridge.
“Local businesses who have struggled throughout the pandemic are hanging on by a thread because of the continued ridiculous decisions of Edinburgh Council.”