MSPs to probe access issues at city train stations

Vehicle access to Waverley station has been limited since June last year. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach

Vehicle access to Waverley station has been limited since June last year. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach

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ongoing access issues at the Capital’s two main train stations are set to be investigated by MSPs.

A major probe launched by the Scottish Parliament’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee is calling on members of the public to submit their views on the difficulties via an online survey.

The move comes on the back of growing controversy over access at Waverley for disabled people, cyclists, pedestrians and taxis.

A council summit in February saw renewed calls to improve the situation by reopening one of the entrance ramps to pedestrians and cyclists, providing more help for the disabled and introducing taxi marshals.

The row over access at the station dates back to the decision to stop cars, taxis and cyclists from entering in June last year.

In May, a Church of Scotland minister died after he was hit by a reversing car which had reportedly tried to drive into the station only to find its way blocked by security barriers.

Edinburgh South MSP Jim Eadie, convener of the committee, said the purpose of the probe was “to find out what people themselves think”.

He said: “There are real issues around disabled access and access for older people at Waverley station. We need to wait and see where the evidence takes us – I don’t want to pre-empt the request for views and the conclusions they will draw.

“Our committee is carrying out a short piece of work to determine how easy it is for people to access Scotland’s major urban railway stations and use the rail network.

“Our survey aims to identify if there are shared issues being experienced by passengers up and down the country, including hearing from people who use Haymarket and Waverley.

“We are looking to hear about how easy it is for pedestrians, cyclists and disabled people to access and move within these stations.

“We also want to know how access to other modes of public transport and taxis from stations can be improved to allow people to carry on their journey.”

Other stations set to be investigated by the committee include Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow Central, Glasgow Queen Street, Inverness, Perth and Stirling.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, the city’s transport leader, said she would “encourage anyone who has experienced issues either at Waverley or Haymarket to make their views are known via the survey.”

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with the committee. We have been working with various organisations to help improve accessibility around Waverley and have implemented a number of measures – including lifts, help points, improved special assistance and way finding signs – to allow step free access for the benefit of all passengers.”

alistair.grant@edinburghnews.com