Larkhall – Milngavie Railway Project Evaluation Study Final Report

14. Appendix B: business survey


14.1 . To understand how the station re-openings and service frequency improvements impacted the performance of local businesses by improving accessibility and access to the labour market, an online survey of local businesses was undertaken.

14.2. Originally a telephone-based survey was proposed. However, this generated a low response rate and so a web-based survey was developed.

14.3. The survey was piloted internally at SYSTRA to enable cognitive testing of survey responses, ensuring questions were unambiguous and easy to understand, and to check survey routings were correct.

14.4. A market research company was commissioned to contact businesses through one of their panels. Businesses located within close proximity to the Larkhall-Milngavie line were selected[53].

14.5. Although the survey covered businesses along the whole Larkhall-Milngavie line, those located in the Larkhall area were specifically targeted. This is because the station openings at Larkhall, Merryton and Chatelherault are likely to have had the largest impact on Wider Economic Benefits (WEBs) compared to the service frequency enhancements on the rest of the line.

Survey Content

14.6 . Surveys were completed by a senior member of the business, typically the business owner, manager or director.

14.7. The survey questions differed according to the length of time the business had been operating in the area for.

14.8. Businesses that have been in the area for more than 9 years (i.e. before the completion of the rail project in 2005) were asked questions concerning the impact the Larkhall-Milngavie rail project has had on the following areas:

  • business performance;
  • turnover and profitability;
  • access to suppliers, customers and key services;
  • staff recruitment and retention;
  • business travel; and
  • supply chain linkages.

14.9. Businesses that have opened or relocated to the area since 2005 were asked the extent to which the rail project had influenced this decision.

Overview of Respondents

14.10. The distribution of survey respondents (n=36) is shown in Figure 32 and summarised in Table 45. The distribution of respondents reflects the targeting of businesses, with nearly a third (31%, n=11) of businesses located in Larkhall or Hamilton.

Figure 32 Business Survey Respondents' Locations

Figure 32 Business Survey Respondents' Locations

Table 45 Breakdown of Business Survey Respondents by Postcode
Post code / Area Number of Respondents %
G11 (Broomhill, Partick) 2 6%
G12 (West End, Kelvindale) 8 22%
G13 (Anniesland, Knightswood) 2 6%
G20 (Maryhill, North Kelvinside) 3 8%
G61 (Bearsden) 2 6%
G62 (Milngavie, Baldernock) 3 8%
G72 (Blantyre, Cambuslang) 3 8%
ML1 (Motherwell) 2 6%
ML3 (Hamilton) 9 25%
ML9 (Larkhall) 2 6%
Total 36 100%

14.11. The breakdown of businesses by industry sector, number of full-time employees and turnover are shown in Table 46, Table 47 and Table 48 respectively. It was beyond the scope of this exercise to weight the survey results to correct for bias of particular types of industry sector or size (by comparing against data of all Glasgow businesses for example). However, the results indicate a good cross section of industry sector and business size.

14.12. It is important to note that the conclusions that can be drawn from a sample size of just 36 are limited and this should be taken into account when considering the results presented in subsequent sections.

Table 46 Breakdown of Business Survey Respondents by Industry Sector
Industry Sector Number of Respondents %
Construction 2 6%
Wholesale and retail trade 5 14%
Transportation and storage 4 11%
Information and communication 3 8%
Financial and insurance 4 11%
Professional, scientific and technical 5 14%
Education 1 3%
Human health and social work 4 11%
Arts, entertainment and recreation 5 14%
Other service activities 1 3%
Other 2 6%
Total 36 100%


Table 47 Breakdown of Business Survey Respondents by Number of Full-Time Employees
Number of Full-Time Employees Number of Respondents %
0 (sole-trader) 6 17%
1 - 49 employees 16 44%
50 - 249 employees 3 8%
250+ employees 11 31%
Total 36 100%


Table 48 Breakdown of Business Survey Respondents by Annual Turnover
Annual Turnover Number of Respondents %
Under £100k 10 28%
£100 k up to £500 k 5 14%
£500 k up to £1m 4 11%
£1 m up to £5m 4 11%
£5 m up to £10m 3 8%
£10 m up to £25m 2 6%
£25 m up to £50m 1 3%
Greater than £50m 7 19%
Total 36 100%