Monumental Danger

By Melissa Wong

With the National Monument looming over the city of Edinburgh on the picturesque spot of Calton Hill, it is tempting to take any available opportunity to climb onto the top of the monument to capture the amazing views of the city.

nationalmonument13eOn Saturday afternoon, tourists and the public climbed up the unstable scaffolds that were structured against the National Monument. As they braved the strong winds, they climbed up 3 sets of ladders tied on clumsily with blue string just to see the views. Despite the dangers, many tourists took the risk but what was more extraordinary was the lack of warnings surrounding the scaffolding. No entry restrictions or warning signs of the dangers of entering a building construction were seen near the site.

Admittedly the views are phenomenal when seated on the roof of the monument but the risks led to the police being called out.

A Lothian & Borders policeman said: ‘It has become a regular occurrence for tourists to climb up the National Monument despite the risks and all we can do is drive over and advise the dangers. It is completely irresponsible for people to climb up knowing the risks they are taking. All we can do is drive out to the site and tell them to come down. We have advised the council about the lack of warning signs but we are still waiting for this to be done.’

Although, it can be seen as ‘common sense’ to not climb up unstable scaffolds, the correct Health and Safety measures should be taken and clearly outlined particularly for a tourist attraction. This will ensure that no risks are taken by tourists or the unnerving public leading to potential tragic circumstances.