Royal Mile in Edinburgh's future to be considered
The future of the Royal Mile is to be considered in a consultation exercise which has been launched by Edinburgh city council.
A Royal Mile Action Plan has been drawn up with proposals for the capital's most famous street.
Issues suggested by the City of Edinburgh Council for consideration include traffic flows and the mix of retail outlets.
The council said the consultation will run until 17 May.
Many of those operating businesses have said they are busier than ever but that some visitors are let down by their overall experience of the area.
Andrew Johnson, the managing director of the Camera Obscura, said: "What we're really looking to be is world class, really exceptional.
"That really has to cover everything from the service you get in the shops, restaurants, taxis and visitor attractions to the cityscape, to the cleanliness of the street, to the standard of the finish of the street.
"And it's got to be maintained to that standard."
Edinburgh's old town has traditionally combined businesses with a residential community.
Some local residents have expressed their concern that commercial development has been at their expense.
Julie Logan, of the Old Town Community Council, said: "In the last year we've seen the loss of more newsagents, more grocery shops.
"The last grocery shop's just been closed down - it's turned into a tourist souvenir shop.
"Increasing the variety and finding uses that would actually meet some of the needs of the resident population doesn't seem to be happening."
The council has organised a number of workshops to take place in the area and comments can also be submitted by email.
The city's planning convener, Councillor Ian Perry, said: "These workshops are a collaborative effort. Shaping the future of the Royal Mile means listening to the people who know it best - local residents, businesses and community groups - and having a constructive discussion about the best way forward.
"We need to strike the balance between ensuring that the Royal Mile remains one of the primary destinations for visitors coming to Scotland, while meeting the needs of the many residents and businesses who use it every day.
"If we get that right, we can ensure this ongoing project maintains the long-term future of the street."