YOUNG children and the elderly have been left standing at Edinburgh’s bus shelters – after bungling contractors installed seating at the wrong height.
Edinburgh Council has admitted that around 20 new shelters need to be “retro-fitted” after the seats were placed so high, commuters were left dangling their feet in the air.
Earlier this year, city chiefs agreed a multi-million pound contract with advertising giants JCDecaux to install 400 new shelters across the capital.
But five per cent of the shelters will now have to be replaced after concerns were raised about the seating height.
JCDecaux will be responsible for covering the cost of amendments to the shelters, some of which boast touchscreen displays and phone chargers.
There have also been complaints that some shelters breach the council’s own guidelines, which state that a gap of 1.4 metres should be left adjacent to a bus stop.
Pedestrian groups and charity organisations have expressed their concern at the inconvenience, which has affected bus shelters along Brandon Terrace, Constitution Street and Buccleuch Street .
A spokeswoman for Age Scotland said: “We are concerned that the height of the seats in the new shelters means that passengers who require a place to rest before continuing their journeys cannot do so.”
They also commented that the new shelters “do not sufficiently protect passengers from varied weather” and take up “excessive space.”
Ruth Malcolm-Smith, 83, needed help from her daughter to reach the seat on Brandon Terrace.
“Even if you can manage to get on, you will probably injure your knees,” she said.
Living Streets chairman David Spaven has also urged the council to abandon the creation of new shelters until standards improve.
Transport Convenor, Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “Where possible, JCDecaux have installed shelters to adhere to the council’s Bus Friendly Design Guide, though in some narrower areas it is necessary to refer to national guidance, which requires a minimum of one meter passage space.
“The council is currently working with JCDecaux to ensure shelters meet our standards, including the relocation of a small number of shelters to allow smoother passage, and replacing seating in shelters where it is considered too high.”
JCDecaux have declined to comment on the matter.