£1.5m lift as Haymarket revamp set to finish early

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LONG-AWAITED lifts at one of Scotland's busiest stations will be completed nearly a year earlier than planned.

The 1.5 million scheme at Haymarket in Edinburgh will start in April and be completed by the end of the year, the Scottish Government's Transport Scotland agency announced yesterday.

The two lifts will enable passengers with heavy luggage, children or disabilities to avoid having to use stairs to reach platforms.

The ScotRail-funded project had been due to be finished in the autumn next year, but should now be ready for an expected increase in passengers from the opening of a new Edinburgh-Glasgow line.

The 15-minute frequency route, via Bathgate and Airdrie, will also provide direct trains from as far as Helensburgh and Milngavie.

Transport Scotland is also working on a wider revamp of the station, including a new glass roof and redesigned concourse.

Outline designs for the scheme, costing some 30m, are due to be completed in November.

This will involve elements of original plans by the City of Edinburgh Council to overhaul the station at a cost of 77m.

ScotRail is also funding a 2.25m project for new escalators to link low-level platforms at Queen Street station in Glasgow with the main station next summer, along with the installation of extra automatic ticket gates.