Arup to lead masterplan efforts of Edinburgh's Waverley Station

24 August 2018 3 min. read
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A team lead by engineering consultancy Arup has been picked to design a masterplan for Edinburgh’s Waverley Station. The project is the latest in a succession of high-profile work for the firm, and will see the engineering specialists tasked with accommodating a footfall of double that currently experienced by the Scottish station.

As local authorities across the UK bid to upgrade Britain’s creaking transport infrastructure, a number of the country’s oldest train stations have been earmarked for long-awaited upgrades. Originally built in 1847, the Edinburgh Waverley Station has since become the second busiest station in Scotland, behind Glasgow Central. With footfall in the station set to almost double from its current 24 million visitors per year by 2024, the facility is in dire need of a retooling to accommodate the strain that represents.

As a result, the station has become the latest of a series of initiatives undertaken in other major city centre stations to commission a masterplan from the consulting world. These include most recently include Bristol’s Temple Meads area by Mott Macdonald, and the revamp of Euston Station by Arup. In the case of Edinburgh, it is Arup which has won out again, and has been contracted to lead the drawing up of a masterplan over the next 12 months.

Arup to lead masterplan efforts of Edinburgh's Waverley Station

The Waverley Masterplan spearheaded by station owner Network Rail and the City of Edinburgh Council, is set to weigh up the future growth anticipated at the station, the impact of city centre developments and urban planning trends. In the nascent stages of the plan, an options appraisal will be developed to consider short, medium and long term objectives before wider consultation is undertaken with customers, user groups and other interested parties.

Led by Arup, the team who will draw up a masterplan is made up of architects Grimshaw and Allan Murray Architects, real estate experts JLL, cost consultants Gardiner & Theobald, heritage professionals Jura Consultants, and consultation specialists Streets UK. Guided by the Masterplan steering group, the team will begin consultation with stakeholders in autumn, before completing the publication of a set of recommendations by mid-2019, establishing a vision for the future of the station and will be used to phase forthcoming investments.

Commenting on the project, Alex Hynes, Managing Director of the ScotRail Alliance, said, “Waverley has seen its footfall more than double from 10 million to over 24 million within the last ten years and estimates suggest that it will almost double again, to 40 million, by 2024. Such a steep increase is a positive indicator of the railway’s economic influence on the city and a clear sign that further investment will be required. The Waverley Masterplan will help us to coordinate our approach and to tackle some of the issues that an increasingly busy Waverley Station raises. We’re pleased to have Arup on board to help us develop that plan.”