Mak­ing Waver­ley bet­ter

Rail (UK) - - Opinion -

Ed­in­burgh Waver­ley sta­tion is a mess. It’s cramped, but has space where it’s not needed. Ac­cess re­mains dif­fi­cult de­spite re­cent im­prove­ments.

Those im­prove­ments have in­cluded in­stalling es­ca­la­tors on and a roof above Waver­ley Steps. More re­cently, Net­work Rail com­mis­sioned new es­ca­la­tors to the foot­bridge just in time for the crowds ar­riv­ing for Au­gust’s fes­ti­val.

Conges­tion around the main con­course isn’t helped by the con­stricted flows be­tween it and Waver­ley Steps, which is the ac­cess point from the city’s main thor­ough­fare, Princes Street.

The con­stric­tion comes from fenc­ing sur­round­ing a ve­hi­cle turn­ing cir­cle at the bot­tom of one of the sta­tion’s two long ac­cess ramps. NR needs the ramps to al­low con­trac­tors’ ve­hi­cles into the sta­tion, usu­ally at night. Dur­ing the day the fences re­main to block pas­sen­ger flow, for no ap­par­ent rea­son.

Or­di­nary ve­hi­cles can­not use the ramps. Nor can cy­clists. They must carry their bikes down steps or wheel them along the ramp’s foot­ways, which is a tight squeeze when they en­counter wheely suit­cases.

Waver­ley’s empty space is a sec­ond con­course that sits by Plat­form 2 and the Cal­ton Road exit. It’s handy for ex­hi­bi­tions but lit­tle else.

Net­work Rail has now ap­pointed Arup to lead a team cre­at­ing a mas­ter­plan for the sta­tion. It’s ex­pected to re­port next sum­mer. I look for­ward to see­ing the re­sults.

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