The Waverley Masterplan will consider the future growth anticipated at the station, the impact of city centre developments on how people use it and how it can play its part in the continued success of Scotland’s capital city.
The Masterplan is being led in partnership by station owner Network Rail and City of Edinburgh Council who have formed a group comprising Transport Scotland, VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and other neighbouring property owners.
The group’s first aim is to understand how future growth is likely to impact footfall within the station and on the streets outside. An options appraisal will be developed to consider short, medium and long term objectives before wider consultation is undertaken with customers, user groups and other interested parties.
An initial study is expected to begin this summer, with more details made available on how to contribute to the process.
Alex Hynes, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, which includes Network Rail Scotland, said: “Waverley has seen its footfall more than double from 10 million to over 24 million within the last ten years and estimates suggest that it will almost double again, to 40 million, by 2024. Such a steep increase is a positive indicator of the railway’s economic influence on the city and a clear sign that further investment will be required.
“We are creating additional rail provision within Waverley at present and will continue to seek new ways to create the best railway that Scotland has ever had. However, more trains mean more people and that inevitably adds to the pressure on station infrastructure and the surrounding streets.
“The Waverley Masterplan will help us to coordinate our approach and to tackle some of the issues that an increasingly busy Waverley Station raises. One organisation cannot manage this in isolation, so it is a welcome step forward to be working with City of Edinburgh Council and our other partners in the development of this plan.”
Lesley Macinnes, convener of the transport and environment committee, City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Waverley Station’s location in the heart of our city centre means it plays a crucial role in the city’s transport system. With population and visitor numbers forecast to grow over the coming years, we need to work with partners to ensure we manage these increased numbers both in the station and in the city centre as a whole to deliver the best possible experience for all residents, commuters and tourists.”
Transport minister Humza Yousaf said: “I am delighted that the combined expertise and energies of a range of parties have been brought together by the City of Edinburgh Council and Network Rail to create a long term vision for the station and its surrounding area. Edinburgh Waverley is the first impression for many as they arrive in our capital city. It is both a portal to the city and wider Scotland. We’ve seen the positive difference that the redevelopment of major stations can have economically, socially and aesthetically. Accordingly, I look forward to developments at Waverley with considerable interest.”
The Edinburgh Waverley Masterplan follows in the footsteps of other successful joint initiatives undertaken in other major city centre stations. Kings Cross/St. Pancras, Waterloo, Leeds, Bristol Temple Meads and Birmingham New Street have all been through similar processes during the last decade.