Waverley Bridge closure as speedbump damages buses

The speed bump on Waverley Bridge is proving costly for buses. Picture: Ian Georgeson
The speed bump on Waverley Bridge is proving costly for buses. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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WAVERLEY Bridge is set to close for the third time in 18 months – to reduce the size of a new speed bump which has been damaging buses.

Cabbies have been told the stretch will shut for four days from June 26-29 to “shave” the speed hump introduced just four months ago.

Buses and other vehicles driving over the raised platform have suffered bumps and scrapes because it is too high.

Talks are being held to try and avoid the new roadworks, with transport leader Lesley Hinds saying the city will investigate imposing a lower speed limit over the bridge instead.

The bridge, and neighbouring Market Street, were both significantly remodelled over the past year at a cost of £1 million to improve pavements and create new taxi rank spaces and drop-off areas, following a controversial decision to ban cars from Waverley station.

A speed bump was introduced following the death of Reverend Tom Sinclair in May 2014, after he was hit by a car reversing out of Waverley after the driver was confronted with a security barrier.

The works took two months, with the bridge closed in one direction and then the other in February following initial construction in 2014, causing headaches for cabbies and rail passengers rushing to meet trains.

Now visitors to the city and air travellers are set to be inconvenienced all over again, with tour buses and the Airlink express service to Edinburgh Airport both needing to be rerouted.

Bus diversions have already been arranged, with services starting and stopping at St Andrew Square during the work to Waverley Bridge.

However, a council spokeswoman said rail replacement buses, currently operating between Edinburgh and Linlithgow due to six weeks of engineering works at Winchburgh, would not be affected as they approach Market Street via Jeffrey Street.

It is not clear who would pay for the work if it does go ahead.

Tory transport spokesman Nick Cook blasted the proposed closure, calling for the cost of the new works to be revealed.

Councillor Cook said: “Our city centre can ill afford further disruption. This news is very unwelcome indeed.

“Given this latest closure appears to be entirely self inflicted, local taxpayers and visitors are unlikely to be at all sympathetic, especially given the relation to the controversial ban on vehicles in Waverley.

“Serious questions must be asked as to how such a big design faux pas made it all the way to construction and details given of how much money will now be squandered correcting this. This situation is simply not good enough.”

Cllr Hinds, said: “Since this has been brought to my attention I have asked for a decision over works to be held off in order to ask more questions about why we are doing this.

“I would like to monitor the situation and look into ways of slowing traffic down to reduce abrasion with the raised table.”