Network Rail, Scottish government and City of Edinburgh council have revealed their concept designs for transforming the Scottish capital’s main station as part of the Edinburgh Waverley masterplan.
The masterplan envisions a station that is a vital part of the city, with a major new 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 and fundamentally change the way people move about the city in the future.
As part of the concept design, the 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.
The mezzanine will provide the opportunity to extend the operational platforms below, create new facilities to cater for future growth in passengers and services and also help improve the all-round experience for people using the station.
Michael Matheson, Scottish 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.
"By introducing new points of access in key areas, this plan will ensure the station becomes a seamless gateway to the old and new towns of Edinburgh and one that encourages greater commuter, business and leisure use alike.
“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, 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.
“The masterplan is a wonderful example of the private and public sectors working closely alongside government to develop innovative and ambitious plans for the capital.
“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.”
The masterplan steering group will now commission further technical and engineering studies to develop the plan from this concept stage, particularly to identify the most appropriate roof solution. This will take place over the next year and will involve further engagement with stakeholders and the public.
The masterplan was launched in 2018 to provide a blueprint for the evolution of the station over the short, medium and long term. Drawing together the rail industry, local and central government and key stakeholders within the city – including accessibility, transport, business and heritage groups – the masterplan considers not just the station itself, but how it interacts with the wider public realm.