Lost Edinburgh: Waverley’s forgotten footbridge

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The bricked up section between the two pillars of the Calton Road-Waverley steps offers practically the only remaining evidence of the footbridge which once traversed the 200m gap over the Waverley valley between Jeffrey Street and Calton Road.

The footbridge was erected as part of a 1891 Act of Parliament which stated that the imminent expansion of Waverley train station should preserve the ancient trading route from the Old Town to Leith, known as Leith Wynd. However, any legal obligation to make the right of way permanent was removed in a separate Act in 1894, though construction of the bridge still went ahead creating a handy link between the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh.

The footbridge was closed ‘temporarily’ in 1958. It never reopened.

Much of the footbridge’s visible remains were swept away following a 2009 revamp of the station roof by Network Rail, despite the dogged efforts of a small band of campaigners to have it reinstated.