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 is to build upon the results of the Stage 1 Evaluation (completed in 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 railway. As with the Stage 1 study, the research involved an extensive primary data collection exercise comprising:
- 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 summarise the headline findings of the research. The document should be read in conjunction with the Borders Railway Year 2 Evaluation Final Report which sets out the detailed findings from the study and includes a comprehensive discussion of the research approach.