BLARING bagpipe music is to be banned at tartan shops in one of Scotland’s busiest tourism hotspots.
Traders in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile have been warned their sound systems could be seized if they ignore warnings to turn down.
The crackdown follows complaints about the ear-splitting volume of bagpipe music played by some retailers in the famous street.
The city council is drafting in extra environmental officers from today (Mon) to check shops are sticking to the rules. As well as the noise menace, there have been complaints that traders are blocking pavements with tartan goods.
The council and Royal Mile traders met recently to agree how to cut the number of complaints from locals.
Joanna Mowat, a city centre councillor, said:
“A hard-line approach to music coming out of shops would be very welcome because 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 it too. “
As well as agreeing not to play music into the street, traders have agreed not to block pavements with goods, display items on the street,or cover windows with posters.
Confiscation of items could follow any breach of the new rules, said a spokesman for the city.
“While most shops do operate responsibly, there remain specific examples where this is not the case and council officers will be patrolling the city centre to ensure that displays are what we would consider to be reasonable.
“Officers will also ensure that no music is played from speakers situated outside of shop-fronts. “
One kiltmaker said the amount of tartan tat for sale on the Royal Mile was the real issue.
Geoffrey Nicholsby said:
“We have heard it all before from them and it is all baloney.
“There’s 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. “