Transport Research Summary

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

Transport Research Summary

The Borders Railway re-opened in September 2015. In line with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) and Transport Scotland’s Guidance on the Evaluation of Rail Projects, Transport Scotland completed a Stage 1 Evaluation of the Railway in November 2016. This research aims to build on the findings of the Stage 1 Evaluation 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, 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;
  • secondary data analysis including a review of ticket sales and passenger count data and an analysis of public transport connectivity.

In addition, a series of consultations were completed with bus operators / local councils in the Borders and Midlothian to help develop a understanding of the impacts of the Borders Railway on 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.