How can new rail stations impact people’s travel behaviour?
The Scottish Government commissioned Stantec to evaluate the reopening of Laurencekirk Railway Station. The main purpose of the study was to understand the lessons learned during the implementation and delivery stages of the project. The first step was a process evaluation, and the second step was an outcome evaluation to determine whether the project was meeting its original objectives. Those objectives? Improving accessibility with public transport, encouraging a modal shift, generating environmental improvements, and reducing congestion on the road network into Aberdeen.
We carried out a comprehensive consultation exercise to understand people’s travel behaviours before the station was built and then how these had changed post opening. The consultation involved an online survey with local residents and users as well as a series of face-to-face interviews with local businesses.
The work also involved detailed analysis to recalculate the benefit cost ratio using outturn cost and benefit impacts and an assessment of the wider social and economic benefits of the new station. The findings from the study revealed 2.6 million kilometres per annum had been removed from the road network due the station re-opening. The recommendations played an integral part in informing the development of Transport Scotland’s Rail Evaluation Guidance.
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