Removal of Inverness city centre footprints could cost around £12k
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Inverness councillors have been told that removal of a series of colourful footprints that have been placed on streets in Inverness city centre could cost around £12,000.
Green and yellow footprints and paw prints appearing to lead people toward the Victorian Market were spotted at the start of October.
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When they were put in place by Highland Council, some businesses were upset about it, claiming there was no warning or explanation they would be placed outside their premises. One even described it as looking like a playground.
A council spokesman explained at the time: “To encourage an increase in footfall in the city centre and in particular connecting the High Street through Lombard Street with Union Street and the Victorian Market, a new trail has been installed using paw and footprints to encourage dog owners into the city centre.
"With the increasing popularity of dog ownership and staycations, many tourists now bring their dogs with them on holiday and the ‘Paw Prints Trail’ will help encourage footfall to support the many excellent local city centre independent retailers.
"The bright colours used aim to also help those with sight problems and make the trail more fun for youngsters.”
However, councillors Alasdair Christie and Trish Robertson has lodged a motion to the council's Inverness city committee, which meets on Monday, stating: “That the artwork transfers of footprints and paw prints that have sprung up in Lombard Street, Drummond Street and Union Street be removed. They do nothing to improve the appearance of our city or increase the economic performance of town centre traders.”
A council response stated it would have a financial implication, adding: "Officers have estimated the cost of cleaning/removal as £2800. The risk has been highlighted that this approach, given the nature of the materials, may not prove successful.
"If so, it is estimated that costs of full replacement of the slab stones and associated labour and materials would be in the region of £12,000. This is an estimate and with the potential that costs may differ, and may be higher, given the specialised and made-to-order nature of the materials."