Anyone who had ever been to Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station and then looked for onward transport connections will be well aware that the location of the station has meant that it isn’t the easiest task. But a new masterplan is seeking to solve some of these problems as well as creating a “station for the people”. While a lot of the masterplan need not concern us on these pages, there is brief mention of the trams.
Currently anyone who gets off the train and then wants to catch a tram out of the city or to the Airport, remembering the Airport does not have its own railway station, has to get out of the station and then traipse across Princes Street to the closest stop at St Andrew Square – a route that is not exactly on the flat.
The new masterplan suggests that a new tramstop is constructed as part of a transport interchange at the junction of Princes Street and Waverley Bridge. Coupled with new entrances to the station – taking intending passengers to a new mezzanine level – this should make access between tram and train a lot easier. The same vicinity would also see easy bus connections with buses no longer permitted on Waverley Bridge and Market Street, thus providing an excellent connection between train, bus and tram – exactly what you would hope to see in the 21st century.
That isn’t where mention of trams stops in the masterplan either as a potentially future extension of the tramway to Newington, Cameron Toll, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Newcraighall and Musselburgh is noted with a possible tramstop on North Bridge. This would provide further access to the station meaning you could be spoilt for choice as to which tramstop to use!
But despite trams being included in the masterplan report they are only a small part of the proposal with the main vision being “to create a station for the people – both passengers who use the station and people who live, work and enjoy the city”. The five objectives it is seeking to achieve are A Functional Station, A Connected Place, A Distinctive Gateway, A World Class Environment and An Edinburgh Station.
It is planned that over 2020/21 an outline business case will be drawn up following further work on an appraisal of the options and an outline design. It is likely that the project will be completed in several phases and whilst supported by Network Rail, Transport Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council there is no guarantee full funding will be provided.
We’ll keep you updated on any progress related to the trams and if you want to read more on the Masterplan you can visit www.scotlandsrailway.com/projects/waverley-masterplan.