CYCLISTS are set to gain easy access to Waverley once again after more than a year of being banned from riding into the station.
New proposals by rail chiefs will see the creation of a dedicated cycle lane on the north road ramp later this month, complete with road markings and signs, following the “completion of a safety assessment” on the site.
The move has been welcomed by cycling campaigners and follows a long battle to improve bike access at Waverley.
Cyclists were barred from riding into the station from the Waverley Bridge ramps last summer, forcing them to dismount and push their bikes along narrow footpaths packed with other pedestrians.
The restriction was brought in on the back of moves by Network Rail to ban taxis and private cars from the station – decisions aimed at cutting down on pollution and reducing the risk of car bombs.
But campaigners blasted the rules as “ridiculous” and launched a cross-party effort to demand change.
David du Feu, organiser of cycling campaign group Spokes, said he was “very, very pleased” that their efforts had now been listened to. He said: “We have done a lot of campaigning about this. A lot of people have been involved over quite a few months now, so it’s very good that this is happening.
“There’s quite a lot of politicians that have been very helpful – particularly Jim Eadie, Sarah Boyack and Lesley Hinds – and we are very grateful to them.
“We kind of thought there was so much pressure going on from so many different directions that they would have to give in eventually, and it’s happened and we’re very pleased.”
The plans are set to come into operation by early October, with station bosses also saying steps will be taken to limit delivery vehicle access to the north ramp during peak daytime periods.
Cycling storage at Waverley has already been given a boost and there are now more than 200 cycle parking spaces.
Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance – made up of both ScotRail and Network Rail – said the company had “listened” and now “taken action”.
He said: “The arrangements we are putting in place at Waverley to bring back cycling deliver a pragmatic solution which balances our need to provide safe access while responding to what customers want.
“Our customers will always be at the heart of what we do. We are transforming our railway here in Scotland and this announcement today is a clear demonstration that we are changing the way we do things.”