Aiming to fully understand the travel behaviour patterns of residents in the area
The Borders Railway was a £300-million scheme linking the central borders—Midlothian and Edinburgh—and comprising 30 miles (48 kilometres) of new line. We were commissioned by Transport Scotland (TS) to develop a baseline that worked in line with TS’s Guidance for the Evaluation of Rail Projects prior to the re-opening of the railway in September 2015.
The aim of the study was to fully understand and document the travel behaviour patterns of residents and the socio-economic characteristics of the area under a counterfactual situation. The results of the research would then provide the baseline situation for subsequent evaluations—to understand how the re-opening of the line performed against a range of intended objectives. The research involved an extensive primary data collection exercise which included an online survey, telephone survey, and a panel survey.
In addition, we also coordinated a telephone survey of residents in East Lothian and Dumfries & Galloway. This survey aimed to isolate the effect of the railway, with the results effectively acting as the control group in any future evaluation.
The final report provided a detailed review of the socio-economic and demographic trends within the Scottish Borders and Midlothian and offered a detailed picture of travel patterns in the region prior to the re-opening of the railway.
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