The consultation (https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/waverley/) on “The Future of Waverley Station” closed on Friday 26 April 2019. Please find below the response submitted by CRAG.
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The Capital Rail Action Group (CRAG) in Edinburgh welcomes the opportunity to comment on this important consultation.
Waverley station is situated at the very heart of our nation’s capital city and the greater use made of the station in recent years has been a very welcome development. The problems in part arising from this increased use are very welcome ones to have!
The historic main station building which lies at the heart of Waverley is a major reason for the station being both difficult to operate from a train-running perspective and difficult to navigate from a passenger perspective.
We would suggest that the best overall solution would be to remove this building – with the main historic booking hall being rebuilt to the east side of the current Market Street entrance to the station. A similar type of concourse could be provided at the north end of the western overbridge – with a direct link into Waverley Mall.
Our template is Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburg_Hauptbahnhof) – with all platforms being through running and with two major overbridges running across those running lines enabling passengers to access their desired platform in sequential order. These overbridges can also carry shops and other passenger facilities. The Calton tunnels should also be both re-doubled – they constitute an unacceptable bottleneck at the eastern approaches to the station and impose unaacceptable restrictions on train-service provision.
and visitor circulation would thus mostly take place on the level above
the operating railway – as suggested by the Preferred Masterplan
Staff and train servicing facilities could be provided in the Market Street car park – with the current ugly signalling centre relocated out of the city centre to perhaps Portobello, Newcraighall, Millerhill or Slateford. Access to platforms for train servicing equipment might
need to be provided via a below platform level passageway.
On a cursory level it looks like removal of the main station building might also allow another one or two through platforms to be provided – but we note the supports for North Bridge hidden within this building. Certainly any redesign of the station should try to increase train-operating capacity as well as passenger circulation amenity. The current proposals seem to envisage increasing passenger numbers arising solely from existing service patterns – but CRAG would like some new services also to be capable of being accommodated in the station.
Preferred Masterplan Strategy states that a higher station roof would
be required to enable the station to operate on two distinct levels. It
would seem a great shame if this is the case – given the very large sums
of money spent renewing the whole of the station roof in recent years.
Perhaps, if required, the roof could be jacked up instead?
Main stations in The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland are welcoming hives of activity – and many users may not be using rail at all. With Waverley Mall so close by, it would make sense to better link the station with this central retail facility – in a way which will surely benefit both. This could be done, as suggested above, via a link directly into a new concourse to the west of the northern end of the west overbridge.
It has been suggested that stations be used at night to deliver parcels, etc. by rail to city centres. Waverley would be a good place to trial this – with a parcel pick-up point in the station.
We would also suggest that a well-signposted tourist information office be provided within the station – or at least in Waverley Mall.
Good quality maps of the city centre and the city as a whole should also be prominently displayed in the station.
Despite its location at the heart of the city, Waverley is actually not that well served by bus and tram services – with bus stops to some destinations being quite far from the station and the nearest tram stop being located across Princes Street in St. Andrew Square near the bus station.
Taxis are currently lined up in Market Street/East Market Street – giving a poor impression. Perhaps these could be relocated to the east side of Waverley Bridge (with the current station access ramps removed) or to a deck accessed by passengers from the south end of the new eastern overbridge and by road from East Market Street.
We support the proposed “Gateway to the City” acccess from a western overbridge/concourse to Waverley Bridge.
Although we have stated that we would wish the main station building to be removed (with the main booking hall relocated to the Market Street entrance), we think the Preferred Masterplan Strategy to be visionary and very much in tune with our way of thinking of “The Future of Waverley Station”.
We wish you good luck as you seek to move forward on this most important project.
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