While the aim of these works is to improve facilities at the stations, I have had a number of concerns raised with me by constituents about the impact some of these changes are having on access.
From the start of this week all traffic has been banned from the station by operators Network Rail. This is despite concerns raised by the council, disabled charities and taxi companies who called for the move to be postponed at least until the end of July when alternative taxi rank accommodation will be completed.
A sign at the north entrance on Waverley Bridge now requires cyclists to dismount and share an already congested narrow pavement with pedestrians, prams and people carrying their luggage into the station. This isn’t helping promote sustainable or integrated travel.
I am concerned about the impact of these changes, particularly for disabled people and others with mobility issues. Taxis in the station offer a convenient service for people who would otherwise struggle to negotiate the steep exits from Waverley.
Improvements such as the escalators at the Waverley Steps have experienced constant technical issues since being opened. They are frequently not working leaving people to struggle up the steps with heavy luggage and leading to overcrowding on the pedestrian ramps up to Waverley Bridge.
I am continuing to raise these issues with Network Rail to ensure that the improvements to facilities at Edinburgh’s main train stations include ensuring ease of access for all passengers.
Meanwhile the widened pavement at Market Street is being dug up leaving a
narrow pavement for pedestrians to negotiate alongside large refuse bins. I’m therefore in touch with the City Council to find out what the plans are for pedestrian access along Market Street, given the increase in congestion and traffic in the area.