STRINGENT crowd control measures are to be introduced at the Scott Monument in Edinburgh for the first time in its history.

Under the revisions, just 24 people will be allowed to climb the famous landmark each hour – and must be led on a guided tour.

A major shake-up has been ordered by council officials in the wake of concerns about overcrowding on the cramped stairwells of the monument.

Due to take effect in June, the measures mean visitors will no longer need to squeeze past each other on their way up or down.

However, visitors will be charged extra to climb the landmark – £8 rather than the current £5 – while those wishing to reach the first floor will pay £6.

A spokesman for the City of Edinburgh Council said: “The majority of reviews we receive are positive, but where we’ve experienced negative feedback it’s been about congestion in the upper levels. The biggest issue is meeting other visitors coming up and down the stairs, as there is very limited space to pass by.

“We’ll be restricting the number of visitors to the top of the monument by having maximum tour sizes of 12 visitors. And by conducting visitors from level one to the top, we will be ensuring that none pass by each other on the stairs in the upper levels.”

The council will be extending its opening hours in the summer and are to hire around 20 people to work as guides.

It will be hired out for weddings and other events for the first time, while more than £50,000 is being spent on a modern makeover of the museum on the first floor, including its first shop.

The shake-up has been ordered after a review found the monument to be an “under-used” asset in the city.

Donald Wilson, the council’s culture convener, added: “Our plan is to provide a more engaging, interactive experience, including guided tours for the upper levels of the monument. These will allow visitors to understand the story of how the monument was built and the work of Sir Walter Scott, while also helping us manage numbers during peak times.

“The Scott Monument is one of the few attractions we operate with an entry fee. The price of a visit is modest and will remain competitive.”