Waverley station taxi access rethink urged

A taxi rank on Market Street outside Waverley station. Picture: Greg Macvean

A taxi rank on Market Street outside Waverley station. Picture: Greg Macvean

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RAIL bosses are being urged to rethink taxi access to Edinburgh’s Waverley station amid growing discontent among passengers.

Vehicles were banned from the station two years ago, forcing travellers to get taxis or be dropped off outside in the street.

But older and disabled people have complained about the difficulties they face as a result.

Last year, the Scottish Parliament’s infrastructure committee investigated the issue, taking evidence from disabled groups and others on the situation and concluded it was “essential that suitably located, accessible taxi facilities are available at Waverley”.

Now Lothian Conservative MSP Miles Briggs has made a fresh call for action, saying there must be a rethink on taxi access.

He said: “Elderly and disabled constituents continue to contact me expressing their frustration at the lack of easily accessible taxis within Waverley station on which many of them used to rely.

“They feel the new arrangements are inconvenient and drop-off points are much less accessible than those that existed before.

“While I accept that lifts are installed at either side of the station, at Market Street and Princes Street, disabled and infirm travellers in particular have told me they find it difficult to navigate their way to and from these.

“The escalators also pose a particular challenge to those visually impaired people with guide dogs. It is very disappointing that almost a year after the Scottish Parliament’s infrastructure committee called for urgent action to sort out passengers’ access, it appears no improvements have been made.”

He said he would be raising constituents’ concerns with the rail authorities.

“I hope we can see a rethink for what is one of the most important transport hubs in Scotland.”

Rail chiefs did allow cyclists easy access to Waverley again last year after they had been banned from riding into the station. A dedicated cycle lane was created on the north road ramp after a long battle by cyclists to improve access.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “Since taxis were removed from the rank within the station, we have been looking at options to improve access arrangements and carried out various investigations and studies.”

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com