Shopkeeper Paints It Black Over Tram Work Fiasco


By Alexander Lawrie

AN ANGRY shopkeeper was forced to paint over bogus double yellow lines after bungling contractors put them in by mistake.

Gordon Burgess, owner of the Bed Shop in Edinburgh, turned up for work on Sunday morning to find workers had painted yellow lines all the way up Leith Walk as part of the ongoing, controversial tram works.

He immediately tried to contact tram firm TIE, but failed to get an adequate response.

So, to the amazement of passing pedestrians and tram workers, Mr Burgess decided to arm himself with a pot of black paint on Tuesday morning and do the job himself.

The tram company mistakenly painted the offending lines as part of the street’s reinstatement, when a five week embargo on the tramworks will take place.

And the cheeky trader has even sent the bill for the paint and brushes to TIE’s Chairman, Willie Gallacher.

Mr Burgess, chairman of the Leith Walk Trader’s Association, said: “I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when I turned up for work on Sunday.

“The new yellow lines were all the way up the street, and to say I was livid is an understatement.

“We’ve been trading here for about 30 years, and there have never been yellow lines on the road.

“Incredibly, when I contacted TIE they didn’t know anything about this. It seems like a case of the tail wagging the dog again.”

The ongoing Edinburgh tram works have caused controversy for the past 15 months as beleaguered shopkeepers claim their profits are suffering due to the parking restrictions.

Traders on Leith Walk are now in line for their first break from the tram works in 18 months under the Christmas city centre embargo on roadworks.

And, after failing to get satisfaction from the tram company, Mr Burgess decided to take matters into his own hands.

He said: “I was so fed up about the whole escapade I got a couple of tins of black paint and a roller and decided to do it myself.

“If I’d left it up to TIE I’d still be waiting.

“Somebody had decided to reinstate the road as it was, but there were never any yellow lines on the road before. And as soon as I finished painting, the whole block started filling up with cars.

“Overall, it was actually quite a therapeutic experience. And once I’d finished, I thought it would be a nice touch to send the receipt to TIE and ask for reimbursement. I even told them I would waive the bonus because I finished the job on time.”

A spokesperson for TIE said: “Unfortunately, the yellow lines on Leith Walk were painted in error, and we are pleased to say the problem has now been rectified.

“Mistakes do happen, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”