Charity bosses: Haymarket plans flawed

AS charities that want to give people more options to choose to walk, cycle and take public transport we are fully behind the Scottish Government’s funding drive to improve Scotland’s railway infrastructure.

We are, however, concerned at what seems an oversight in the plan for access to the renovated Haymarket Station. It seems to us obvious and sensible to have an entrance from the Dalry side of the tracks.

There is a contractor’s entrance from Dalry Lane but a permanent entrance on this side of the station is missing from the plans. It seems strange that it is possible for lorries to use this route yet people on foot have no direct access to numerous destinations, including businesses, the International Conference Centre, Tynecastle Park.

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With the intention being to grow patronage of ­Haymarket to ten million passengers a year it seems to us that not having an entrance from Dalry is rather like re-building your house but not insulating the loft. Better to seize the moment, do the job, avoid later disruption and not lose the shoe for the want of a nail.

Nearly three quarters of people arriving in Haymarket walk to their destination. Those seven million journeys each year should have more than two exits.

We therefore repeat the request from ourselves, local businesses and the local community that ­Network Rail, First Scotrail and the City of Edinburgh Council get new plans in place to improve access to Haymarket as soon as ­possible.

• John Lauder (Director of Sustrans Scotland), Keith Irving (Head of Living Streets Scotland) and Colin Howden (Director of ­Transform Scotland)