New parliament signs blasted after being placed next to £20,000 original

The "way in" signs are just yards from the impressive granite original

PARLIAMENT bosses have spent thousands of pounds erecting two new entrance signs, just yards from the original granite sign.

The original sign cost £20,000 and informs guests they have reached the Scottish government in both English and Gaelic.

But bosses at Holyrood felt it wasn’t obvious enough and installed new boards reading “Way in” accompanied by a large arrow, at a cost of £1000 each.

The parliament claims the move followed comments from disabled groups, who said they found it hard to locate the entrance.

But MSPs today questioned why so much money was spent on the original sign if it does not fulfil its purpose.

Conservative MSP for the Lothians, David McLetchie, said: “It goes to show that a more functional and visible sign would have been preferable from the outset, rather than spending £20,000 on a fancy sign which states the obvious but doesn’t actually do a proper job in terms of directing people into the building.

“But I don’t suppose there is any market for second-hand Scottish Parliament granite signs, so there will be no recovery of cash there.”


The 18ft South African granite sign, which reads Scottish Parliament Public Entrance, was erected in May 2008 following a review of visitor services.

At the time it was criticised as being unnecessary and extravagant but officials insisted research showed signage needed to be improved and the materials needed to be of an appropriate quality for a World Heritage Site.

But just two weeks after installation workers were called back because the final ‘e’ was just four millimetres too high.

Independent MSP Margot MacDonald blasted the new signs.

She said: “Words fail me, but I’m sure there must be a reasonable explanation. They probably had some change left over after buying the stab vests.”

In September it was reported that the parliament had spent £34,500 kitting out 90 security staff with stab vests, despite the building never having suffered a knife-related incident.

A spokeswoman for the parliament said: “Access for members of the general public is important to us. The two new signs have been installed to assist disabled people, particularly in guiding partially-sighted visitors to the public entrance.

“There was feedback for groups of disabled people that they found it hard to find the entrance”

She added that the positioning of the new signs was to guide people from a nearby pedestrian crossing and that the costs had been met from existing budgets.