Network Rail has released its concept designs for transforming the capital’s main station as part of the Edinburgh Waverley Masterplan
With a new major public space on Waverley Bridge providing views of the iconic city skyline, it will be a station that puts people first, providing easy access for all, and creating vital city connections for walking, cycling and public transport.
The masterplan has been developed in collaboration with City of Edinburgh Council’s City Centre Transformation Programme to prioritise movement by foot, cycle and public transport.
As part of the concept design, the Waverley Masterplan partners are proposing a new mezzanine concourse across the whole station that will help deliver better access to Waverley from the surrounding streets, enable the creation of fully-accessible entrances and increase circulation space for passengers.
Improving accessibility of the station
The mezzanine will allow operational platforms to be extended, new facilities to cater for future growth in passengers and services to be created and will also help improve the all-round experience for people using the station.
Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, said: “The Masterplan has produced an exciting concept design which delivers a station that can meet operational requirements for the longer term and improves accessibility for all by addressing, through its use of a mezzanine floor, the complex levels around the station.
“The next stage of design work will see how 21st-century functionality can be incorporated within the historical setting of Waverley so that we deliver a station that can meet operational requirements for the longer term and deliver a fantastic user experience for everyone.”
Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, added: “We believe there is a compelling case for making ambitious changes to Waverley which will improve the station for our customers while respecting the history and heritage of this listed structure.
“Waverley has always played a key role in the life of the city and the plans we have unveiled today will help to ensure it continues to do so in the years ahead as we all play our part to revitalise our economy and put the impact of the current pandemic behind us.”
Adam McVey, leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, commented: “It’s crucial that the station expands capacity to accommodate the growth in passengers and improves accessibility.
“This will not only help Edinburgh be better connected but help us achieve a more equal, carbon-neutral future, with rail well integrated with bus and tram, pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users and those with other mobility issues.
“As such, we’ll continue to provide input into the development of the Waverley Masterplan in the coming months and years.
“But, equally, we’ll have an important role to play in monitoring and scrutinising the project’s progress, ensuring it conserves our city’s unique heritage and aligns with our own plans for the city centre, whether that be through City Centre Transformation, or developing a wider vision for the Waverley valley.”