Waverley traffic ban: Passengers ‘fight for space’

Passengers have complained that Waverley is difficult to negotiate. Picture: Craig Stephen
Passengers have complained that Waverley is difficult to negotiate. Picture: Craig Stephen
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UNDER-FIRE Waverley Station chiefs were today accused of creating “a maze” since banning vehicles from entering.

A worker at the station, who asked not to be named, said the move, which also saw the main ramps closed to cyclists, had caused chaos.

He said passengers had been left “fighting for space” along the narrow pavement leading from the platforms to Waverley Bridge.

The fresh criticism comes just days after an independent poll accused the station of lacking clear signage.

The worker said: “Everyone now has to fight for space along the pavement, that’s people with buggies, those pulling suitcases and those with bicycles. I don’t see why they can’t still allow cyclists down the ramp – that would remove a lot of conflict with pedestrians.

“The problem is that people don’t know where to go, they don’t know to leave by the Calton Road or Market Street entrances. It’s a complete and utter mess.”

Station owners Network Rail have been facing increasing pressure in recent weeks since the sudden announcement last month that cars and taxis would no longer be allowed into the station.

The decision followed months of problems surrounding their newly installed £1 million security barriers.

The issue came to a head when Kirk minister Rev Tom Sinclair, 76, was knocked down and killed after a driver was forced to back out on to Waverley Bridge after finding the station blocked by the barriers.

And despite a major overhaul to the tune of £130 million over the past three years, a recent survey of passengers said more needed to be done.

While the research by Passenger Focus acknowledged recent improvements, such as the roof and surfaces, many said they felt let down by the standard of information and signage.

Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus’s chief executive, said: “This investment has had a positive impact on the passenger experience of using the station.

“However, they have also told us that there is further room for improvement, particularly with how they can find their way around the station more easily.”

The station was also urged by city MP Mark Lazarowicz to make sure disabled passengers still had access by transport.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We understand that the layout of the station platforms is not always easy for passengers to navigate and we regularly review what we can do to make using the station and its facilities easier for customers.

“Additional signage and a new public address system have been installed since the survey took place.”

He added: “We are committed to retaining access for people with disabilities. Organisations that operate disabled-access vehicles and are transporting disabled passengers to Waverley can still arrange access to the station.”