Transport Scotland is undertaking a study of how the Scottish Borders is served by the strategic transport network. The focus of the study is on how the transport network connects the Scottish Borders to the key markets of Edinburgh, Newcastle and Carlisle, it will identify where the network works well, look at issues and seek suggestions for improvement. This study will build on the successes of recent transport investment in the area and will consider the future transport needs of the Scottish Borders and cross border connections, including examining the case for extending the Borders Railway.
The commitment to undertake this work was made in the Scottish Government’s 2016-17 Programme for Government.
Approach to the Study
Following a tender competition, Jacobs UK Ltd were appointed to undertake the Borders Transport Corridors Pre-appraisal Study in April 2017. The Services Brief sets out the aims and objectives of the study and scope of work.
This Pre-Appraisal study is being undertaken using Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) which means it will be ‘multi-modal’– it will consider the rationale for improvements to road, rail, public transport and active travel on the key strategic corridors including the A68, A1, A7 and Borders Railway.
This study is expected to be completed in winter 2017, when recommendations will be considered in the forthcoming Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2).
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Further information / Project details
Scope of project
This work is being undertaken using Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG). This Pre-Appraisal Study comprises three components:
- It is a transport study that makes an assessment of the Problems and Opportunities of the transport system
- It will then set Transport Planning Objectives that reflect the problems and opportunities and expresses the outcomes sought from the study:
- It will generate a the wide set of transport options which could alleviate the problems and address the potential opportunities.
This work forms the pre-appraisal stage of the transport appraisal process which is undertaken at the early stage of the development of any Transport Scotland project. The work will focus on high level problems and opportunities on the network across all modes. Pre-appraisal forms part of the strategic case for any emerging project.
Rationale, project team and timescales
The Programme for Government 2016-17 included a commitment to examine the case for an extension to the Borders Railway along with improvements to the A1, A7 and A68. Transport Scotland, an Agency of the Scottish Government, are managing and delivering this study, and are working together with Scottish Borders Council and SEStran. Following a mini-competition, Transport Scotland appointed Jacobs UK Ltd as Transport Consultants to deliver this study. It is expected that the study report will be completed by Spring 2018.
The study will consider options for all modes of transport in the Borders area. In particular, the study will examine the case for improvements to the A68, A1, A7 and Borders Railway, and identify Borders transport requirements. However no decisions on any preferred routes or alignments will be considered at this stage.
Engagement and consultation
Transport Scotland have committed to working collaboratively with local stakeholders for this study. As part of that approach, a public survey was undertaken. This was publicised on Transport Scotland, Scottish Borders Council, SEStran and Northumberland County Councils websites and took place over seven weeks in July and August 2017. At the same time, a web based survey was conducted with all Community Councils in the Scottish Borders. Paper based alternatives to both of these were made available. A series of workshops were also held in June involving key stakeholders including local authorities, transport operators, emergency services, business organisations and local interest groups. As a follow-up, structured telephone interviews were undertaken to discuss issues in more detail.
As set out in the 2017-17 Programme for Government (PfG), the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR) will be reviewed, in alignment with National Planning Framework (NPF4) to enable a comprehensive review of national transport infrastructure priorities. The findings from this Pre-Appraisal work will feed in to this review and enable the Borders area’s problems and opportunities to be clearly articulated for consideration at the national level.