Smart Transport

Borders Railway – build it and they will ride

The UK’s longest new domestic railway for 100 years was opened on September 6, 2015. The Borders Railway runs over a 30.3 mile route between Newcraighall (in south-east Edinburgh) and Tweedbank (between Galashiels and Melrose).

The journey times reduced from a minimum of 83 minutes on the bus from Galashiels to central Edinburgh to 55 minutes or less.

The reopening was the result of 15 years of campaigning. Initially, the business case was downbeat – an early assessment was based on 23,500 return trips per year, later revised to 650,000. However, from the moment it opened, the Borders Railway exceeded expectations.

The eventual first year patronage was more than a million trips and it has since exceeded 1.5 million.

Initial evaluation found that the re-opening of the railway resulted in significant modal shift from the car to public transport – 57% of users who previously made their trip by another mode stating that they used to drive all the way to their destination.

The Borders Railway has also affected residential and workplace choices. More than half of users who moved house and over 80% of those who moved employment since the line re-opened said the railway was a factor in their decision.

Consequently, it has resulted in a significant economic uplift in the area. It has also opened up smaller towns for investment and boosted the number of tourist trips.

Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


No comments have been made yet.

Office Address
  • Smart Transport
    Media House
    Lynch Wood
    PE2 6EA
Join the community
  • Register to receive our digital content / products and service / information about our events.
  • Register now.
  • Conference


Welcome to Smart Transport

Welcome to the Smart Transport website, keeping you up-to-date with the latest news, insight and reports from policymakers and thought leaders.

The Smart Transport brand connects policy to solutions by bringing national government and local authority policymakers together with private sector organisations.

Contact Ernest Olaseinde for more information.

© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd
Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA - Registered number 01176085 IPSO regulated logo


Smart Transport members

Smart Transport board members


Please note:
By submitting any material to us you are confirming that the material is your own original work or that you have permission from the copyright owner to use the material and to authorise Bauer Consumer Media to use it as described in this paragraph. You also promise that you have permission from anyone featured or
referred to in the submitted material to it being used by Bauer Consumer Media. If Bauer Consumer Media receives a claim from a copyright owner or a person
featured in any material you have sent us, we will inform that person that you have granted us permission to use the relevant material and you will be responsible for paying any amounts due to the copyright owner or featured person and/or for reimbursing Bauer Consumer Media for any losses it has suffered as a result.