Work will improve access at Waverley

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WORK to improve pedestrian access around Waverley station will get underway on Monday - a week after a minister was killed as he crossed the road nearby.

The £1 million scheme will see the upgrading and widening of footways and carriageway resurfacing on Waverley Bridge and Market Street.

On Monday this week, the Rev Tom Sinclair, 76, from Stornoway, who was attending the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly, died after being hit by a car on Waverley Bridge. Witnesses told how the driver tried to turn into the station, only to be met by Network Rail’s controversial barriers, and then reversed out, hitting Mr Sinclair and an Airlink bus on the other side of the road.

The first phase of the work, which will last until July 26, will focus on Market Street and include widening and resurfacing the footways in natural stone paving, installing new raised tables to improve pedestrian crossing points and installing a new zebra crossing at the junction of Market Street and Waverley Bridge. It will also create a new 10-bay taxi rank on Market Street, new loading areas, a new cycle lane and new street lighting, along with resurfacing the carriageway and reducing street clutter.

The second phase, involving work on Waverley Bridge, is scheduled to run from September 8 to December 1.

The council said temporary traffic lights and lane width restrictions would be needed at certain stages of the work, but promised access for pedestrians and deliveries would be maintained at all times.

Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “These improvements to the streetscape around Waverley Station will make a big difference to how accessible the area is for pedestrians, cyclists and all road users.

“With the ongoing problems caused by the unpredictable operation of the barriers at the station ramp on Waverley Bridge and the recent tragic fatality close by, it’s even more crucial that do whatever we can to make this whole area as safe as we possibly can.”