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Thread: Princes Street

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    @hibs.net private member Scouse Hibee's Avatar
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    Princes Street

    Took the bus from Corstorphine today to Shandwick Place then walked full length of Princes Street into the St James and then to the foot of the walk. The first time I have been along Princes Street in a couple of years, what a shambles it is. Never realised there were so many empty shops and what shops there are are pretty poor. St James looks to have sucked the life out of it, such a shame for a Street in a great setting.


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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Hibee View Post
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    Took the bus from Corstorphine today to Shandwick Place then walked full length of Princes Street into the St James and then to the foot of the walk. The first time I have been along Princes Street in a couple of years, what a shambles it is. Never realised there were so many empty shops and what shops there are are pretty poor. St James looks to have sucked the life out of it, such a shame for a Street in a great setting.
    It should be developed into a mix of cafes/restaurants/hotels and, where possible, residential. Developments like the Johnnie Walker experience plus the redeveloped Jenners will also enhance it.

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    @hibs.net private member Just Alf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He's here! View Post
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    It should be developed into a mix of cafes/restaurants/hotels and, where possible, residential. Developments like the Johnnie Walker experience plus the redeveloped Jenners will also enhance it.
    100% agree with this... imagine walking along and there being loads of placed with outdoor seating, what a setting.


    Weather permitting I know! But to be fair I've been able to sit outside a lot more than I would have thought possible before out door seating was so common.
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    There aren't any public bars on Princes Street, no pubs permitted either. Maybe this has to change ?

    Hotel bars don't count btw.

  6. #5
    I was there a few weeks ago and thought exactly the same. It was dead, nothing like the crowds you used to see 5-10 years ago.

  7. #6
    @hibs.net private member CapitalGreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Grieves View Post
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    I was there a few weeks ago and thought exactly the same. It was dead, nothing like the crowds you used to see 5-10 years ago.
    Good, with the view, gardens and galleries it should be a pleasant part of town to visit and walk around but I’ve always tended to avoid it unless needing to go to certain shops located there. I’m glad to see it transitioning to bars and restaurants - no longer will bars & restaurants enjoying some of the best views in Edinburgh be reserved for members of private clubs. I believe the old top shop/Burtons property is becoming a foodhall type place similar to Bonnie & Wild in St James.

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    @hibs.net private member .Sean.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pollution View Post
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    There aren't any public bars on Princes Street, no pubs permitted either. Maybe this has to change ?

    Hotel bars don't count btw.
    Absolutely has to change. Full of empty units to let, tartan tat/ novelty shops and borderline charity shops. What a state for what should be Scotlands premier street.
    ''It's always been just part of the culture. Growing up, for most working-class kids, is all about football, music or clothes. You might not have much money, but whatever you have got, you're going to look good.'' - Paul Weller

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    To be fair, most the empty units are a result of national chains going bust or shops that have relocated since September to St James' centre. The four big department stores have been or are being redeveloped, but yeah, it would be great to see the use of the street being reimagined in a way that takes advantage of the beautiful location. Limiting the tat would be good too.I used to come to Edinburgh as a child and be enraptured by the Princes St setting, and I still get that buzz walking there now. I just stick to the gardens instead.

  10. #9
    I think somewhere like St Andrews Square, and even George Street, proves there is still a place for city centres as a destination. One has a range of restaurants (mostly popular chains) whilst the other has what you might call higher end stores and bars that whilst not to my taste are popular throughout the day.

    I think the big issue now is the days of going out shopping as a hobby in itself are gone. I'm not saying people won't still do it but the rise of online retailing, particularly in the last decade or so, means you can buy things on a whim at 2am in the morning if you fancy. It's something that is far more likely to be combined with another activity, having a drink or lunch being the main 2. That is where somewhere like St James has an advantage. Firstly they have shops that aren't in every other centre or high street but they also offer a cinema, bowling, darts, pool, food and drink. It's modern and airy and clean. Of course that's no guarantee of success either, the white elephants that are the Gyle and Ocean Terminal are testament to that but it must help. I think those 2 places suffered because the areas offering something other than shopping fell into decline at about the same time the store tenants started to ship out in their droves. I could imagine going to St James just for food or a drink, not so much the other 2.

    The shops left on Princes Street, even the bigger chains and groups, are just depressing now. I was looking for a dress shirt the other week and that's something I like to touch and see before buying. I was late out of work so missed a couple of places on George Street so went to M&S on Princes Street. After navigating about 40 escalators I emerged into an attic that despite it's small size and general dinginess felt empty. I asked a totally disinterested member of staff (and I don't blame him, I'd be depressed standing in an empty attic all day too) where there shirts were and was told 'we don't do any mens tailoring at this branch now'. It seemed what they did sell was limited to a few T shirts, some sweatshirts and socks. The fact I was the only customer suggests it was hardly a recipe for success. The whole place was just grim. It was dirty, lights were faulty, the floor was taped up in places, it was dark with no natural light etc etc. I left, went along to St James and got a shirt in a modern, buys and well presented Next shop served by someone young, cheery and enthusiastic. M&S just felt like a shop waiting for head office to pull the plug.

    It's time to take advantage of a view that is up there with the best in the world, a big wide pavement and spaces that lend themselves to being multi purpose venues.
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Boy View Post
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    I think somewhere like St Andrews Square, and even George Street, proves there is still a place for city centres as a destination. One has a range of restaurants (mostly popular chains) whilst the other has what you might call higher end stores and bars that whilst not to my taste are popular throughout the day.

    I think the big issue now is the days of going out shopping as a hobby in itself are gone. I'm not saying people won't still do it but the rise of online retailing, particularly in the last decade or so, means you can buy things on a whim at 2am in the morning if you fancy. It's something that is far more likely to be combined with another activity, having a drink or lunch being the main 2. That is where somewhere like St James has an advantage. Firstly they have shops that aren't in every other centre or high street but they also offer a cinema, bowling, darts, pool, food and drink. It's modern and airy and clean. Of course that's no guarantee of success either, the white elephants that are the Gyle and Ocean Terminal are testament to that but it must help. I think those 2 places suffered because the areas offering something other than shopping fell into decline at about the same time the store tenants started to ship out in their droves. I could imagine going to St James just for food or a drink, not so much the other 2.

    The shops left on Princes Street, even the bigger chains and groups, are just depressing now. I was looking for a dress shirt the other week and that's something I like to touch and see before buying. I was late out of work so missed a couple of places on George Street so went to M&S on Princes Street. After navigating about 40 escalators I emerged into an attic that despite it's small size and general dinginess felt empty. I asked a totally disinterested member of staff (and I don't blame him, I'd be depressed standing in an empty attic all day too) where there shirts were and was told 'we don't do any mens tailoring at this branch now'. It seemed what they did sell was limited to a few T shirts, some sweatshirts and socks. The fact I was the only customer suggests it was hardly a recipe for success. The whole place was just grim. It was dirty, lights were faulty, the floor was taped up in places, it was dark with no natural light etc etc. I left, went along to St James and got a shirt in a modern, buys and well presented Next shop served by someone young, cheery and enthusiastic. M&S just felt like a shop waiting for head office to pull the plug.

    It's time to take advantage of a view that is up there with the best in the world, a big wide pavement and spaces that lend themselves to being multi purpose venues.
    M&S are literally pulling the plug on city centre venues are are moving to out of town shopping centres. I'd be amazed if the Princes Street store is there in the next year. Will leave another massive space unoccupied and probably impossible to fill.

  12. #11
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    Would love to see some sort of effectively delivered and courageous master plan to rebuild / refurbish and reimagine Princess Street.

    Sadly the council are far too dim witted to take on such a venture..they appear to be quite good at cooking up fancy titles for pseudo action plans every few years but can anyone seriously suggest that any of these ventures have made any discernible improvements over the last decade or two?

    The ‘closure’ of the Waverley Bridge to traffic is a perfect example of the half baked approach currently.

    From a road furniture point of view it has been achieved by adding a few obstructions on the road while leaving the traffic and crossing lights on the same setting as if the traffic could still get access. This leads to significant periods where all traffic and all pedestrians are looking at red lights wondering wtf is going on…only to realise the lights that are green are for non existent traffic to exit or enter Waverley Bridge from Princess St!

    The result is a mess that has done nothing to improve the general environment of the area or ease pedestrians journeys. It has of course added a significant volume of traffic to the access road to the mound, often queued all the way down past the back entrance to the train station.

    It has also turned one side of St Andrew square into a permanent tour bus parking lot (do we really need so many!?) and results in the airport bus now having to travel (crawl) along George Street.

    And for what benefit?

    If they can’t even do something like that correctly there is zero chance of a co-ordinated and effective revamp of Princess Street. It might improve in bits thanks to private companies doing one off developments but the capital’s premier street should really have a premier development and refurbishment plan to go along with that.

  13. #12
    @hibs.net private member Scouse Hibee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyeSloan View Post
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    Would love to see some sort of effectively delivered and courageous master plan to rebuild / refurbish and reimagine Princess Street.

    Sadly the council are far too dim witted to take on such a venture..they appear to be quite good at cooking up fancy titles for pseudo action plans every few years but can anyone seriously suggest that any of these ventures have made any discernible improvements over the last decade or two?

    The ‘closure’ of the Waverley Bridge to traffic is a perfect example of the half baked approach currently.

    From a road furniture point of view it has been achieved by adding a few obstructions on the road while leaving the traffic and crossing lights on the same setting as if the traffic could still get access. This leads to significant periods where all traffic and all pedestrians are looking at red lights wondering wtf is going on…only to realise the lights that are green are for non existent traffic to exit or enter Waverley Bridge from Princess St!

    The result is a mess that has done nothing to improve the general environment of the area or ease pedestrians journeys. It has of course added a significant volume of traffic to the access road to the mound, often queued all the way down past the back entrance to the train station.

    It has also turned one side of St Andrew square into a permanent tour bus parking lot (do we really need so many!?) and results in the airport bus now having to travel (crawl) along George Street.

    And for what benefit?

    If they can’t even do something like that correctly there is zero chance of a co-ordinated and effective revamp of Princess Street. It might improve in bits thanks to private companies doing one off developments but the capital’s premier street should really have a premier development and refurbishment plan to go along with that.
    I think we’re talking about a different street 😉

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Hibee View Post
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    I think we’re talking about a different street
    Double s faux pas…I blame auto (non) correct

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    @hibs.net private member J-C's Avatar
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    Plans unveiled for first step in 'transformation' of Edinburgh city centre | Project Scotland


    Here's a wee beauty that the clowncil are planning for George IV bridge and the surrounding area, more proof they have no clue what they're doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Alf View Post
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    100% agree with this... imagine walking along and there being loads of placed with outdoor seating, what a setting.


    Weather permitting I know! But to be fair I've been able to sit outside a lot more than I would have thought possible before out door seating was so common.
    Not sure how brilliant it would be sitting, eating, on the pavement in Princes St, breathing in the rush hour diesel fumes from buses. Electric buses, maybe ...

  17. #16
    @hibs.net private member Just Alf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lapsedhibee View Post
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    Not sure how brilliant it would be sitting, eating, on the pavement in Princes St, breathing in the rush hour diesel fumes from buses. Electric buses, maybe ...
    True!

    Electric's coming though I guess
    cùm fallain

  18. #17
    Princes Street could easily be revamped to rival and surpass Glasgow's Sauchiehall street. All it will take is a few bars restaurants, nightclubs and a few more features similar to the Johnnie Walker Experience. All it takes is the vision to loon at the street, it's surrounding and what actually viable for it business wise.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyeSloan View Post
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    Would love to see some sort of effectively delivered and courageous master plan to rebuild / refurbish and reimagine Princess Street.

    Sadly the council are far too dim witted to take on such a venture..they appear to be quite good at cooking up fancy titles for pseudo action plans every few years but can anyone seriously suggest that any of these ventures have made any discernible improvements over the last decade or two?

    The ‘closure’ of the Waverley Bridge to traffic is a perfect example of the half baked approach currently.

    From a road furniture point of view it has been achieved by adding a few obstructions on the road while leaving the traffic and crossing lights on the same setting as if the traffic could still get access. This leads to significant periods where all traffic and all pedestrians are looking at red lights wondering wtf is going on…only to realise the lights that are green are for non existent traffic to exit or enter Waverley Bridge from Princess St!

    The result is a mess that has done nothing to improve the general environment of the area or ease pedestrians journeys. It has of course added a significant volume of traffic to the access road to the mound, often queued all the way down past the back entrance to the train station.

    It has also turned one side of St Andrew square into a permanent tour bus parking lot (do we really need so many!?) and results in the airport bus now having to travel (crawl) along George Street.

    And for what benefit?

    If they can’t even do something like that correctly there is zero chance of a co-ordinated and effective revamp of Princess Street. It might improve in bits thanks to private companies doing one off developments but the capital’s premier street should really have a premier development and refurbishment plan to go along with that.
    The council wouldn't take on such a venture, dim-witted or not. It would be outsourced to consultants, architects etc, and rightly so.

    The council would then get slaughtered for spending money in that way!
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  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
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    The council wouldn't take on such a venture, dim-witted or not. It would be outsourced to consultants, architects etc, and rightly so.

    The council would then get slaughtered for spending money in that way!
    Aye obviously I didn’t mean the council would do and own the whole thing.

    But they would need to be the principle actor in terms of co-ordination and the driving force to set up / commence / corral all the various private interest on such a journey.

    They have had plenty of planning plans and the like for the new town and are of course busy making it impassable unless you are walking or ‘wheeling’ so clearly they think they have some remit here.

    It would take vision, time and a lot of money and effort and that is what I’d clearly beyond them and sadly our central government. Lots of talk and hot air about a better Scotland, where better to start than your Capital city?

    Instead we have endless road works, closed roads, massive congestion, miles and miles of unsightly plastic bollards and the main thoroughfare looking neglected and stuffed full of a long line of buses on a permanent basis.

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