SO JUST what impact will moving the drop-off area from inside the station actually have on, say, a pregnant woman with a five-year-old and suitcase in tow?
We sent Evening News deputy picture editor Christina Macmillan (and her daughter Imogen) to investigate
IT was obvious I was struggling. Lugging a huge suitcase up a flight of stairs while trying desperately to keep up with an energetic five-year-old, he clearly took pity on me.
A fellow traveller came to the rescue and carried my bag up to the summit. Now for the trek to the ticket office . . .
It is easy to take the direct access to Waverley Station for granted, and I’m used to the ease of being dropped off right beside the concourse. My taste of what life might be like once the “terror ban” comes in was not an entirely enjoyable one.
Our experiment began with the favoured new drop-off point of the New Street car park. The lift is currently out of order, so the only option is to use the stairs.
We started our trek with Imogen a few steps in front of me, and me calling on her to slow down. About half way up the stairs, my knight in shining armour intervened – but I was still out of breath when I reached the top. We then had to walk through a corridor, down a small staircase, along another corridor, and were relieved to discover a lift that actually worked so we could access the main station and ticket office without more steps. Compared to hopping out the car and wandering across to the platform there is no contest.
Accessing from Market Street is even more tricky as we were immediately presented with the obstacle of steps. Imogen very kindly tried to help, but to be honest, a small child trying to help move a suitcase that’s almost the same size as her is pretty scary, especially on stairs.
To the revamped Princes Street entrance then. Imogen was very excited about using the new escalators, and I was relieved I would not have to manhandle the suitcase down stairs. The escalator only goes so far, though, and then we had to use the stairs again to access the ticket office.
Of course, stairs are not an issue at the current Waverley Bridge entrance and this will still be an option for pedestrians when the ban comes in. The walk down the pedestrian ramp was OK, although quite narrow when passing people travelling in the opposite direction with pushchairs or luggage.
All in all, I think we will wait for our next train adventure to be after the baby arrives – and when my husband will be with us.