A total of 825 respondents returned
the User Survey equating to an estimated 100,000 annual single trips were which represents
approximately 8% of the passenger journeys recorded in the first full year of
the railway being open.
In total, 60% (n=496) of
respondents to the survey stated that they were either travelling on a leisure
day trip or a short or long holiday. As would be expected, the proportion of
leisure users is far higher than found in the Year 1 surveys (39%, n=436) which
were undertaken later in the year. Overall, 89% (n=414) of visitors in the
Year 2 Survey who provided their home location were residents of Scotland, with
61% (n=283) living in the Scottish Borders, 11% (n=53) living in Edinburgh, and
6% (n=30) living in Midlothian. A further 9% (n=40) came from elsewhere in the
UK and 0.2% (n=1) came from the USA and 3% (n=12) selected ‘other overseas’,
with responses including South Africa, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Australia,
New Zealand, Spain, Canada, and Venezuela.
Proportion of New Trips
Overall, 31% (n=250) of
respondents stated that they did not previously make their current trip prior
to the re-opening of the railway, demonstrating that the railway has encouraged
people to take up new opportunities and make new trips they previously did not
suggests that the railway is enabling people to make new journeys which they
did not make prior to the re-opening of the railway.
Some 61% (n=490) of respondents
to the Year 2 Survey said that prior to the re-opening of the Border Railway
they had regularly made the trip they were making at the time of the survey by
another mode. Of these, 487 provided details of the mode they previously used
and the majority (64%, n=312) reported that they previously drove all the way
to their destination (see Figure 4.18 below), suggesting that the railway has
encouraged significant modal shift from car to rail. Additionally, a large
proportion (25%, n=122) stated that they previously travelled by bus indicating
that there has also been modal shift from bus to rail.
Residents of Midlothian, the
Scottish Borders and Edinburgh were asked a series of questions concerning
home, workplace and car ownership. The key initial results are set out below.
Local Residents: Impact on
In total, 17% (n=114) of local
residents said that they had moved house since the re-opening of the Borders
Railway. Residents who stated they had moved house were also asked to what
extent the re-opening of the Borders Railway had been a factor in respondent’s
decision to move. Of those who responded to the question (n=109), 58% (n=63)
stated that the line had been a factor in their decision to move (i.e. ‘main
factor’, ‘it was one of a number of important factors’ or ‘it was
a fairly minor factor’).
Respondents who had moved home
(n=114) were also asked whether they would have moved to their current location
had the Borders Railway not been re-opened. Some 29% (n=33) stated that they
would not have moved to their current address if the railway had not re-opened.
suggest that the Borders Railway has affected people’s residential choices. Of
those identified in the sample who had moved address since the re-opening of
the line, over half reported that the railway was a factor in determining their
Local Residents: Impact on
In total, 15% (n=99) of
respondents to the User Survey from Edinburgh, Midlothian or the Scottish
Borders had changed workplace since the re-opening of the railway. Of these,
52% (n=52) stated that the re-opening of the Borders Railway was a factor in their decision to move workplace while 46% (n=46) said that the line had not
been a factor.
Respondents were also asked
whether the number of hours they work had changed as a result of the re-opening
of the line. The majority of respondents (55%, n=350) reported that the railway
had made no impact on the number of hours they work, with 9% (n=59) stating
that they now work more hours and 3% (n=18) stating that they now worked fewer
evidence that the Borders Railway has had an impact on peoples’ choice of
workplace. Amongst those who had moved employment, a relatively large
proportion stated that the re-opening of the line had been the main factor in
their decision. Overall, the data suggests that there has also been a modest
impact on working hours.
Local Residents: Impact on Car
Overall, the majority of
residents of Scottish Borders, Midlothian and Edinburgh (89%, n=585) reported
that the re-opening of the line had had no impact on the number of vehicles
owned or run by their household. However, 6% (n=40) said that they had reduced
the number of vehicles in their household as a result of taking the train
journeys they previously made by car. Although, 1% (n=5) found that they had
increased the number of vehicles in their household to allow them to drive to
the stations and 1% (n=4) had increased the number of vehicles as a result of
the removal / changes in bus routes.
an objective of the study and perhaps a longer term impact, the result suggests
that the re-opening of the line has also resulted in some changes to car
ownership levels. This car ownership impact is greater than found in Year 1
which suggests that people have taken time to adapt their behaviour.
Visitors: Direction of Travel
As outlined above, 60% (n=496) of
all respondents to the Year 2 Survey were visitors. Of these, 59% (n=293) were travelling to Edinburgh and 41% (n=203) were
travelling to the Scottish Borders or Midlothian.
Visitors: Extent to which
railway influenced decision to make trip
to the User survey who indicated they were making a tourist day trip or
overnight trip were also asked about the extent to which the re-opening of the
Borders Railway had influenced their decision to make the trip. Amongst those
who responded to this question (n=471), 71% (n=333) said that the Borders
Railway had been a factor in their decision to make their current trip, with
32% (n=150) stating it was the main factor, 29% (n=136) stating it was one of a
number of factors, and 10% (n=47) stating it was a fairly minor factor.
Respondents were also asked whether they would have made
their current trip if the Borders Railway had not re-opened. Of those who
responded to this question (n=468), 25% (n=119) said they would not have made
evidence that the Borders Railway has had a material impact on leisure and
tourism travel in the corridor, both to and from Midlothian and the Scottish
Borders with the railway being identified as a key driver for this activity.