Queen in Edinburgh: 'Unprecedented' event sees 100,000 people use Waverley station and traffic up 25 per cent

Traffic on key routes around Edinburgh increased by up to 25 per cent while the Queen’s coffin was lying at rest in the Capital.

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And more than 100,000 people passed through Waverley station on a single day. Transport Scotland thanked the public for following travel advice as it released figures showing how much busier roads around the city were.

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Analysis of data from 11 traffic counter sites at key locations approaching and around Edinburgh on Tuesday (September 13) showed traffic volumes on the M8 eastbound between Junction 3A/4 were 20 per cent higher than normal.

On the M9 northbound, south of Junction 2 at Old Philpstoun, they were up by 25 per cent. On the A1 southbound at Burnmouth, near Eyemouth, traffic was 15 per cent higher, and on the M8 westbound at Claylands increased by 20 per cent.

Transport Scotland said In what was seen as the biggest logistical exercise for decades, Scotland had staged a series of ceremonial events over five days and enabled the Queen’s cortege to travel 175 miles through Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, Fife and Edinburgh.

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Organisations across the country had joined forces to put in place detailed and complex security, travel and public safety arrangements in the space of 48 hours.

Michelle Quinn, interim chief executive of Transport Scotland, said: "We thought the COP26 event in Glasgow would be unprecedented, however Operation Unicorn took planning to a different level, and the circumstances will never be repeated.

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Huge crowds turned out to pay their respects as the cortege carrying the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II passed through Edinburgh (Picture: Ian Forsyth/WPA pool/Getty Images)

"What impressed me most was the way Scotland pulled together to pay tribute to Her Majesty the Queen at such short notice and with such professionalism.

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"There were many people involved behind the scenes and the public played a key role by listening to travel advice and being patient and kind, even when waiting in queues. Everyone played their part in difficult and sad circumstances to deliver something we will all look back on one day with a great sense of pride."

Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, said: “We are incredibly proud to have been able to play our part in helping people pay their respects at the ceremonial events in Scotland.

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“More than 100,000 people passed through Edinburgh Waverley on Monday alone, and we did everything we could to make travelling as convenient as possible.

“We had extra staff on hand to help as people visited the capital and we hope everyone who travelled on Scotland’s Railway felt supported as they honoured Her Majesty The Queen.”

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Stein Connelly, head of major events resilience at Transport Scotland, said the events over the past few days would be reviewed to see if there were any lessons for future operations.

“However for now, we should all be very proud for giving the queen such a fitting tribute,” he said, “Transport and travel partners played a significant role, working with local authorities and Police Scotland to co-ordinate the travel plan and cortege route for Operation Unicorn. We are proud and pleased to have showcased Scotland to millions of people around the world, in a positive light."

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