Recent inspections of the North Bridge have revealed that sections of its decorative panels are in poor condition and need attention. 

City of Edinburgh Council has drafted in specialist contractors for the job, and work began last night to wrap the structure’s southern span. Completion of the wrapping here is expected to take another 3 weeks. 

Netting is to be installed under the bridge to allow engineers to safely access other areas. Market Street is likely to be closed briefly during this period, and the taxi rank has been moved accordingly. 

A CEC statement concludes: ‘The Council is working closely with Network Rail in regards to access on or near to railway property while our contractor is finalising designs and developing safe methods of work for the installation of netting’.

Work will progress elsewhere in due course.

Built between 1894 and 1897, today’s North Bridge replaced an earlier one finished in 1772. It was widened by the Stevensons a century later, but was still too narrow to cope with the traffic. Besides, its piers obstructed Waverley Station’s expansion. Hence the decision to start again with a design by Cunningham, Blyth & Westland (who also designed the booking hall below).

The bridge’s detailing was by Robert Morham, who also designed Glenogle Baths and the octagonal observatory building on Calton Hill currently used by Collective. Gifford et al.* nicely make clear: ‘He gave the piers canted ends with festooned tops, and filled the spandrels with cast-iron arcading beneath a consoled and festooned entablature’.

It has been popular with pigeons ever since.

*John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh, ed. by Colin McWilliam (Harmondsworth, Penguin Books, 1984).


 Michael Traill It takes a hammering and is pretty old, bound to need some tlc every now & then. Imagine how many cars, buses, lorries & pedestrians pass over it every single day!

 Dave H ‏@BCCletts

Dave H Retweeted Broughton Spurtle

Oh B&&r that's arch springing or just cosmetic with covering plates& ogee profile cracked/adrift

  Bob Murphy Any else notice how bouncy the bridge is thesedays? Stand still on it for a while and you can feel the whole structure move with the traffic.

Broughton Spurtle Perhaps this explains it. Photo taken from Jeffrey Street this afternoon.

Dave HDave H ‏@BCCletts

@theSpurtle Hmm restricted to 2 lanes & bus stops on bridge suspended? Weight limit 20T?

@BCCletts Naw. Another bit of four by two and it'll be fine.

 John Robinson Can't say I've noticed it being bouncy - but that's probably because I always seem to be getting knocked sideways by the wind when I cross it!

North Bridge
55° 57' 6.3684" N, 3° 11' 17.9736" W