PBA study shows the Borders Railway continues to benefit local communities

PBA study shows the Borders Railway continues to benefit local communities

27 February 2018

Scotland – A study, carried out by Peter Brett Associates, has confirmed that the Borders Railway, now in its second year, continues to bring sustained and positive outcomes for local communities.

The results of the study show that as well as encouraging tourism, the line has enabled more people to pursue new employment and that approximately 36,000 car journeys are being saved annually. In addition, overall travel on the line has increased by 9.5% in the last year.

PBA was commissioned by Transport Scotland (TS) to complete an evaluation of the Borders Railway two years after the re-opening of the line. The work follows an earlier evaluation completed by PBA in 2016.

The objective of the research was to build on the findings of the earlier evaluation, monitoring whether the Borders Railway is on track to meet its investment objectives and capturing the views and experiences of tourists using the railway. 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 and local councils in the Borders and Midlothian to better understand the impacts of the Borders Railway on bus services.

The independent report was commissioned by Transport Scotland and the Borders Railway Blueprint Group and the complete findings are now available on the Transport Scotland website.

Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands, commented:

“These latest findings demonstrate the sustained, positive and measurable impact that the introduction of the Borders Railway has had on the communities located right along the line.

“As well as bringing economic benefits including people moving to and working along the route, the research found that 95% of those surveyed rate the service as good or very good, and in fact this is supported by a 9.5% increase in passengers compared to year one of service which is excellent news indeed. The work of the Blueprint Group members in using the new line as a catalyst for positive change is evident, and I’m excited to see the lasting impact of this work in the coming years.”