Edinburgh station masterplan proposes mezzanine concourse to boost city centre walking and cycling

A newly-published masterplan sets out a vision for the redevelopment of Scotland's second-busiest railway station over a 30-year period within the wider context of Edinburgh's historic centre.

A view of the proposed station redevelopment looking towards George IV Bridge - image: Network Rail
A view of the proposed station redevelopment looking towards George IV Bridge - image: Network Rail

Network Rail, the Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council have released the masterplan for Waverley Station following consultation with statutory consultees, heritage organisations and the public last year. 

"Planning permission and other statutory consents for the final proposals will need to be sought from the council in due course," according to a report prepared for a meeting of the city's policy and sustainability committee tomorrow (6 August).

The report "requests that the council has regard to this document in preparing the City Plan 2030 and any associated planning guidance".

The "evolving" plan should also "take cognisance of a number of key council strategies, policies and guidance including Edinburgh City Centre Transformation, emerging City Plan 2030, City Mobility Plan and the Waverley Valley study", it adds.

Intended to prioritise movement by foot, cycle and public transport within the city centre, the plan proposes a new mezzanine concourse across the whole station to enable better access from the surrounding streets and increase circulation space.

The next phase, of detailed design and engineering feasibility, will start as early as possible, maintaining engagement with stakeholders and communities", the report says.

Alex Hynes, managing director of partnership body Scotland's Railway, said: "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."

Council leader Cllr Adam McVey added: "These concept designs portray an accessible, connected station fit for Scotland's capital. It's crucial that the station expands capacity to accommodate the growth in passengers and improves accessibility."

Following the opening of Edinburgh Gateway railway station to the west of the city in 2016, two more commuter stations into the city are planned on the Edinburgh to Berwick-upon-Tweed line, “accompanied by an expected significant reduction of private car traffic in the city centre as driven by the ECCT [Edinburgh City Centre Transformation Strategy]", the committee report says.

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