Network Rail has unveiled an internationally recognised team of engineers, architects and urban planners it has appointed to help shape the long term future of Edinburgh’s Waverley Station.
Consultants Arup will lead a group of highly experienced professionals in shaping a masterplan for Scotland’s second busiest station.
Architects Grimshaw and Allan Murray Architects, real estate experts JLL, cost consultants Gardiner and Theobald, heritage professionals Jura Consultants, and consultation specialists Streets UK make up the team.
Led in partnership by Network Rail and the City of Edinburgh Council, the Waverley Masterplan will take shape over the next twelve months. It will consider the future growth anticipated at the station, the impact of city centre developments, urban planning trends and how Waverley can be enhanced to support and encourage the future success of Scotland’s capital city.
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.
Guided by the masterplan steering group, the team will begin consultation with stakeholders in autumn before publishing a set of recommendations by mid-2019 which will establish a vision for the future of the station and will be used to phase forthcoming investments.
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. We’re pleased to have Arup on board to help us develop that 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 Edinburgh’s transport system. With population and visitor numbers forecast to grow over the coming years, it’s important that we work with partners to ensure arriving at Waverley Station is a world class experience for all residents, commuters and visitors.
“This masterplan comes at a very significant time for the capital as we work to create a city centre that truly has people at its heart. We will shortly be launching a major consultation on the Edinburgh City Centre Transformation, Low Emission Zones and City Mobility Plan, and this Waverley Masterplan forms an important part of that programme.”
Elliot Wishlade, project director for Arup, said: “Occupying a critically important site within the city, Waverley Station is a hugely important gateway to Edinburgh for all rail users including both national and international visitors. The Arup team is therefore delighted to be working with the masterplan steering group to create a vision and a plan which not only meets future travel needs but creates new and exciting facilities, spaces and infrastructure that will make this part of the city work better and be more enjoyable for everyone.
“We are looking forward to receiving inputs through the study from a wide variety of rail users, user groups, interested parties and members of the public.”
Other successful joint initiatives undertaken in major city centre stations during the last decade include Kings Cross/St. Pancras, Waterloo, Leeds, Bristol Temple Meads and Birmingham New Street.