1 Introduction

Borders Railway Year 2 - Evaluation - Survey of users and non-users - February 2018

1 Introduction


Peter Brett Associates LLP (PBA) was commissioned by Transport Scotland (TS) to develop a Year 2 Evaluation of the re-opening of the Borders Railway. The primary aim of this research was to build upon the results of the Stage 1 Evaluation (completed in November 2016) and further develop understanding of the extent to which the Borders Railway is on track to meet its Investment Objectives.

In addition, the study aims to capture the views and experiences of tourists using the railway. While the views of tourists were captured in the Year 1 Study, it was recognised that, due to the time at which the surveys were undertaken (November 2016), the results are likely to underestimate the true tourism impact. A key aim of this study is therefore to record visitor numbers during the summer peak and, in so doing, provide greater clarity on the overall tourism impact of the new line. As with the Stage 1 Study, the research involved:

  • an on-train survey of users of the Borders Railway;
  • a telephone survey of non- and infrequent users of the Borders Railway based within the Scottish Borders and Midlothian; and
  • secondary data analysis including a review of ticket sales and passenger count data and an analysis of public transport accessibility.

In addition, a consultation exercise was carried out with a number of key stakeholders drawn from the bus industry in order to further develop understanding of the impact of the railway on tourism and bus services. The purpose of this report is to set out the overall findings from the study. The document includes a detailed discussion of the research approach as well as a summary of the key findings from both the primary and secondary research.

Report Structure

The report is structured as follows:

  • Chapter 2: provides a brief overview of the Borders Railway and the context for the study;
  • Chapter 3: discusses the research methodology and provides a summary of the achieved responses for each survey;
  • Chapter 4: summarises the results of the research in the context of the Investment Objectives for the Borders Railway;
  • Chapter 5: provides an overview of the survey responses received from tourists using the Borders Railway; and
  • Chapter 6: discusses passenger views on the service and the barriers to use amongst non-users, one-off users and irregular users of the railway.