JMP Consultants Ltd, 2013
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In 2001, and again in 2005, it seemed that there was no case for re-opening Gilsland Station. Since then the demand for rail travel all along the Tyne Valley line, and indeed nationally, has increased substantially and, with the opening of the Hadrian’s Wall long distance path in 2003, the popularity of the area for visitors on foot and bicycle has reached an all-time high.
In 2013 The Tyne Valley Rail Users Group (TVRUG) commissioned the firm JMP Consultants Ltd to provide advice, technical assistance, design and supervision services on transport planning, and make a detailed assessment of the feasibility of having a station in Gilsland.
Feasibility Study Report – A Summary
- The demand for the station is estimated at 25,000 trips a year: 10,000 by local people and 15,000 by tourists, 10,000 of which would have come because of the rail access.
- Two 50m platforms with shelters, access ramps, lighting and pedestrian access under the railway bridge would be needed. Such a station could be built on the site but there might be land ownership issues.
- The estimated cost is £1.8M but, taking into account uncertainties in making predictions and eventualities during construction, £2.5M should be budgeted.
- The station is estimated to provide a benefit to the local population of £1.78 for every £1 of cost. This is regarded as a "medium value for money" and the Department of Transport will normally only consider funding schemes that represent high value for money.
- The additional visitors expected are, however, likely to spend £300,000 per year in the area bringing the benefit to £3.89 per £1 of cost – regarded as "high value for money".
- Funding bodies with a responsibility to support tourism or rural development would be the most appropriate to approach.