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Option Selection Report Document: Version: 1.2 Whitehill Bordon Rail Study

Hampshire County Council 1st February 2010


Option Selection Report Whitehill Bordon Rail Study

Hampshire County Council 1st February 2010

Halcrow Group Limited Elms House, 43 Brook Green, London, W6 7EF Tel +44 20 3479 8000 Fax +44 20 3479 8001 halcrow.com

Halcrow Group Limited has prepared this report in accordance with the instructions of client Hampshire County Council for the client’s sole and specific use. Any other persons who use any information contained herein do so at their own risk. Š Halcrow Group Limited 2011


Option Selection Report

Document history Option Selection Report Whitehill Bordon Rail Study Hampshire County Council

This document has been issued and amended as follows: Version

Date

Description

Created by

1.0

19/10/2010

Draft – For Steering Group Comment

SG

1.1

22/12/2010

Draft Final

SG

1.2

01/02/2011

Final

SG

Verified by

Approved by

DC

RS


Option Selection Report

Contents 1

Executive Summary

5

2

Introduction

7

2.1 2.2

Background Business Case Structure

7 7

3

Problems & Objectives

8

3.1 3.2 3.3

Introduction Transport Problems Option Development

8 9 10

3.3.1 3.3.2 3.3.3 3.3.4 3.3.5 3.3.6 3.3.7 3.3.8 3.3.9 3.3.10 3.3.11 3.3.12

Bus Light Rail Heavy Rail Scheme Options LR1 and ML1 – Whitehill Bordon to Bentley ML5 – Whitehill Bordon to Alton LR4 – Whitehill Bordon to Alton LR6 & 6a – Whitehill Bordon to Farnham ML4 – Whitehill Bordon to Liphook heavy rail LR3 – Whitehill Bordon to Liphook light rail ML2 & ML2a – Whitehill Bordon to Liss heavy rail LR2 &LR2a – Whitehill Bordon to Liss light rail

10 11 12 12 15 16 16 16 16 17 17 17

4

Option Appraisal

4.1 4.2

Introduction Appraisal Structure

5

Policy Integration

5.1 5.2

Transport Visions and Objectives Regeneration and Railways

19 19

5.2.1

Value of Wider Economic Benefits

19

6

Operational Issues

6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5

Introduction Alton Line Options Portsmouth to Waterloo Main Line Operational Summary Light Rail

7

Environmental Planning Constraints

7.1

Introduction

18 18 18

19

21 21 21 24 25 26

28 28


Option Selection Report

7.2 7.3

Summary of Main Environmental and Planning Constraints in the Study Area Whitehill Bordon to Alton Routes

28 30

7.3.1 7.3.2

Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for ML5 Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for LR4

30 30

7.4

Whitehill Bordon to Bentley Routes

31

7.4.1

Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for ML1 and LR1

31

7.5

Whitehill Bordon to Farnham Route

31

7.5.1 7.5.2

Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for LR6 Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for LR6A

31 32

7.6

Whitehill Bordon to Liss Routes

33

7.6.1 7.6.2

Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for ML2 and LR2 Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for ML2A andLR2A

33 33

7.7

Whitehill Bordon to Liphook Routes

33

7.7.1

Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for ML4 and LR3

33

7.8

Conclusions

34

7.8.1 7.8.2 7.8.3

Project Planning Implications Preferred Option Next stage of study

34 36 38

8

Cost Estimation

41

8.1

Engineering Assumptions

41

8.1.1 8.1.2 8.1.3 8.1.4 8.1.5

ML1 Whitehill Bordon to Bentley Whitehill-ML2 Bordon to Liss (via old LMR route) ML2A Whitehill Bordon to Liss (Direct Route) ML4 Whitehill Bordon to Liphook ML5 Whitehill Bordon to Alton

41 42 43 44 44

8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6

Cost Estimates Optimism Bias Financing Cost Estimates (LRT and BRT) Operating Costs

45 47 48 48 49

9

Demand Forecasting

51

9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5

Demand Forecasting Methodology Eco-town Assumptions Demand Forecasts Parking Requirements Benchmarking

10

Economic Appraisal

10.1 10.2

Introduction Appraisal methodology

51 54 55 56 57

58 58 58


Option Selection Report

10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8

Revenue Appraisal Indicators – Heavy Rail Appraisal Indicators – Light Rail Appraisal Indicators – BRT Sensitivity Tests Summary

11

Summary and Recommendations

11.1 11.2

Introduction General points

65 65

11.2.1 11.2.2

Light Rail vs Heavy Rail Analysis by Route Corridor

65 65

11.3

Route Option Summary

66

11.3.1 11.3.2 11.3.3 11.3.4 11.3.5 11.3.6 11.3.7 11.3.8 11.3.9

ML1 – Whitehill Bordon to Bentley – Heavy Rail LR1 – Whitehill Bordon to Bentley – Light Rail LR4 – Whitehill Bordon to Alton – Light Rail ML5 – Whitehill Bordon to Alton – Heavy Rail LR6 / 6a – Whitehill Bordon to Farnham – Light Rail LR3 – Whitehill Bordon to Liphook – Light Rail ML4 – Whitehill Bordon to Liphook Heavy Rail LR2 / 2a – Whitehill Bordon to Liss – Light Rail ML2 / 2a – Whitehill Bordon to Liss – Heavy Rail

66 67 67 68 69 69 70 70 71

11.4 11.5

Preferred Scheme Check with Transport Strategy Objectives.

72 72

Appendix Appendix A – Environmental Constraints Map Appendix B – Vertical Alignments

59 59 61 61 62 63

65


1

Executive Summary The Whitehill Bordon Transport Strategy (March 2010) sets out the expected travel demands from the Whitehill Bordon Eco Town development. This estimated that overall existing movement within the town will increase by up to 91,000 trips per day, with 60% completed within the town, and so 36,000 external (with one end of the trip in the town). Existing figures suggest there to be around 27,000 external trips at present. Therefore the development will require us to handle up to an additional 9,000 trips per day into the wider region. With the current levels of public transport provision such growth levels would be unsustainable, would go against the principles of the Eco-town, and create traffic impacts on the local and regional routes used. Therefore a range of solutions including heavy rail, light rail and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to link Whitehill Bordon to Alton, Liphook, Bentley and Liss were tested to ascertain the most viable and cost effective solution to this problem. The study was conducted in line with Network Rails Guide to Railway Investment Projects (GRIP) investment guidelines for the heavy rail solutions and DfT Appraisal Guidance to ensure that all potential solutions to the identified problems and objectives were considered. In summary, this covers the pre-feasibility process which requires outline monetary appraisal for all potential options with the objective of filtering out solutions which would not achieve the necessary value for money criteria specified by the government for public funding. On balance of the issues raised, the preferred option at this stage is the heavy rail route via Bentley. This will generate demand levels of up to 1 million trips per annum, with a capital cost of ÂŁ130M and a Benefit to Cost Ratio of 2.14 which is high value for money based on DfT Guidance. This provides the least environmental impact, the best economic and financial case, presents engineering and operational issues that are deliverable and are either the cheapest, or commensurate with the other options. Serving Whitehill Bordon via Liphook and Liss is much less attractive due to lower levels of interpeak service frequency at these stations combined with increased environmental constraints. Alton, although potentially providing the most viable option from an operational perspective, is constrained by the high costs of delivering the necessary infrastructure due to the topography in the area, with the costs almost double that of connecting to the mainline at the other 3 stations. Through running options show a higher value for money case than shuttle services to existing stations, primarily due to the advantage associated with removing the uncertainty and inconvenience of requiring interchange. None of the proposed LRT and BRT alternative options exhibit a positive BCR due to lower journey times than the heavy rail shuttle, relatively high infrastructure costs in comparison to demand, and the costs associated with needing to acquire and run a bespoke fleet of vehicles in the case of LRT. The strength of the economic case suggests a heavy rail alignment via Bentley should be explored further. Future option development should focus on the potential environmental impacts of passing through the South Downs National Park, confirming the engineering costs, and developing / optimising the operational case 5


more robustly including undertaking a full assessment of the service options on current demand in terms of impacts on service quality to existing stations and train loadings.

6


2

Introduction

2.1

Background Halcrow was commissioned by Hampshire County Council in June 2010 to undertake a GRIP2 level study to assess the business case for re-establishing a heavy rail link to Whitehill - Bordon. The concept developed from the selection of the area as one of the government’s new Eco-towns, and in that context it is recognised that a coherent and sustainable transport strategy needs to be developed. Initial work has been undertaken by Mott Gifford, this was developed at Network Rail GRIP 1 level, and sets the initial thinking in relation to the project. The Halcrow work builds on the findings of that research, and develops the business case and technical areas in more detail.

2.2

Business Case Structure The primary purpose of the business case is to understand the issues surrounding the development of a rail line between Whitehill Bordon and the wider rail network. The case itself needs to address the specific requirements of the Network Rail GRIP feasibility stages (level 2) as well as slightly wider objectives relating to Local Authority and DfT business cases which are aligned to WebTAG criteria. The basic calculus in a WebTAG assessment and a GRIP assessment are the same, but a key early stage in the WebTAG work is to establish the broader case for the scheme. By this we mean to determine what problem the scheme is trying to address, and what the objectives of providing the link are. The case should go further, and determine non heavy rail alternatives to fulfil the identified problems and objectives, as well as considering variations on the heavy rail option (different alignments and service levels). The purpose of this report is to present the wider case for the scheme in terms of the WebTAG approach. The next section will consider the Problem and Objective setting, as set out in the “Emerging Transport Strategy�. This will be followed by a section on the potential options to meet them (Bus, Light Rail, Heavy Rail) and then a section that develops the assessment criteria against which we should be comparing them. Section four, outlines the policy fit of the proposals, five considers operational rail issues and six the environmental considerations of each of the options. Sections seven, eight and nine look at the business end of the issues, looking at cost estimates, forecast passenger demand and appraisal issues respectively. Finally, section ten draws together a summary of the findings and makes some tentative conclusions from the work.

7


3

Problems & Objectives

3.1

Introduction The Whitehill Bordon Transport Strategy doesn’t state specifically the purpose of providing a rail link to the existing rail system other than a broad reference to “Encourage Sustainable Travel”. This is a laudable objective, but it doesn’t specify the problem we are trying to address in providing the facility. The Strategy does however identify 3 fundamental types of transport that exist now, and will continue to exist once the development is built: •

Travel within the Town – Town Wide Routes;

Travel within the area as a whole – Local Routes;

Travel to and from the area to the Wider Region – Strategic Routes.

Clearly the rail link will support the latter of these two, and the assessment here will focus on the ability of the scheme options to support that. The Whitehill Bordon Transport Strategy has six objectives in the “Emerging” document of March 2010 – specifically: •

Support exemplar sustainable economic regeneration and town growth;

Improve the environment by reducing congestion and pollution;

Enable sustainable movement by developing high quality public transport, walking and cycling alternatives to the private car;

Balance the needs for people to travel against the importance of protecting the environment;

Reduce journey length and the need to travel outside of the town; and,

Manage car demand within, through and outside of the town, maximising the use of existing assets.

In assessing scheme options therefore, we should consider each case in light of the criteria. The table below provides a high level framework against which the options can be considered. The aim is to consider each option in turn, and provide a brief commentary on how the option compares, providing quantitative analysis where relevant to support the text. Objective Manage Transport Demand

Use of Existing Assets

8

Description How does the option perform indicators from the modelling mode shift/total demand New line / re-open disused line - integration with other assets re-use of disused infrastructure - km's number of station

Score +3 / -3


Objective Support Sustainable Economic Regeneration

Description

Score +3 / -3

Indicators on % work within town, extent of out-commuting - use of Whitehill Bordon as a destination station.

Mode shift related Improve the Environment by reducing environment indicators congestion and pollution noise/air quality - extent of highway congestion reduction

Enable sustainable movement – alternatives to the car

Balance the need to travel against protecting the environment

Reduce journey length and the need to travel outside of the town

Indicators on % work within town, extent of out-commuting - use of Whitehill Bordon as a destination station.

What does each option do to the wider environment summary indicators highlighting what impact on the environment each option has.

Comment on the scope to encourage wider travel – specifically for the longer distance rail options.

Notes +3 large positive: -3 large negative: 0 neutral

3.2

Transport Problems The Whitehill Bordon Emerging Transport Strategy (March 2010) sets out the expected travel demands from the development. This estimated that overall existing movement within the town will increase by up to 91,000 trips per day, with 60% completed within the town, and so 36,000 external (with one end of the trip in the town). Existing figures suggest there to be around 27,000 external trips at present. Therefore the development will require us to handle an additional 9,000 trips per day into the wider region. With the current levels of public transport provision such growth levels would be unsustainable, would go against the principles of the Eco-town, and create traffic impacts on the local and regional routes used.

9


The Transport Strategy sets out the concept of bus services to meet the needs of the growing Whitehill Bordon area. This is focussed on 3 types of service: •

Strategic Routes: at least 2 buses an hour to serve the surrounding region and link to the rail network;

Local Routes: four buses an hour serving the towns and villages around Whitehill Bordon; and,

Town wide route: six buses an hour operating within the town itself.

The concern is that the Strategic Route bus services in particular may not have the capacity or attractiveness in terms of journey time or quality of service to meet the aspirations of Whitehill Bordon as an Eco-town, especially in terms of the higher end mode share aspiration. Simple analysis of the figures within the strategy would imply that of the 9,000 external trips, around 29% would be by bus – around 2600. For those wishing to meet rail services to get to work, this would focus demand on a couple of buses only, and likely lead to overcrowding for short periods. Moreover, the attractiveness of bus rail interchange over an all rail service is inferior, and the relative time advantages of the rail service, especially on the comparatively slow local roads would enhance the scope to achieve the mode share targets set for the Eco-town. In summary:

3.3

Bus capacity at peak times is a concern;

Bus rail interchange is not particularly attractive;

Bus and car based journey times have slow average journey times.

Option Development Generic options to meet the problems and objectives set above include, further improvements to the bus services, light rail and heavy rail options. At the heart of all the development options is the provision of an integrated multi-modal transport hub. Given the potential transport problems created by the development, we have generated a series of potential solutions. These are a combination of Heavy Rail, Light Rail and Bus Rapid Transit solutions that serve different corridors originating from the centre of Whitehill Bordon. The principal behind each of the options is that the infrastructure should provide access to the wider rail network, and thus provide the greatest potential to serve external trips in its widest sense. A brief description of the current public transport provision, schemes proposed as part of the Emerging Transport Strategy and potential options considered are discussed below.

3.3.1

Bus The proposed transport strategy for Whitehill Bordon provides for reasonably substantial levels of service provision. Operating at 3 levels – within the town at high levels of frequency (10 minutes) between the town and the surrounding villages at 15 minute frequencies, and to the wider region with half hourly service, but specifically designed to meet half hourly rail services at the connection points. 10


With this level of service, and levels of bus priority being offered to support operation, it is difficult to see how we could offer a meaningful bus based improvement over that being proposed in the base. The only viable enhanced bus based alternative would be as above with extensive segregation measures including construction beyond the highway providing contra flow bus lanes, bus only sections, bus gates and bus lanes delimited by raised kerbs prohibiting access for other user. Although there is evidence to suggest that guided bus systems show a lower cost per km than light or heavy rail systems, the overall scheme capital costs are more dependent upon contextual factors such as the scale of earthworks required, the number and scale of required structures and the degree of utilities diversions. These factors are likely to be similar for most of the technologies under consideration so that any differences in, for instance, the unit cost of light rail track compared to busway are likely to be offset by other factors. This is particularly pertinent to consideration of such a system at Whitehill Bordon given the substantial civil engineering costs required for the alignments. Although some options use a previous alignment, the change in land use and ownership will result in a large proportion of these costs being necessary for a bus based system as well as heavy rail. As will be shown in the cost estimates, between 40%-50% of the costs relate to civil engineering works to form the alignment and thus would be needed to provide clearance for a guided bus system along the proposed alignments. As part of the study, demand forecasts, cost estimates and economic appraisals were conducted BRT based solutions along the identified heavy rail corridors were considered and the key Value for Money indicators are shown in Section 10.6.

3.3.2

Light Rail Light rail schemes can bring significant benefits for passengers and the wider community, delivering quicker, more reliable journeys. Light rail systems also create a positive image in the area they operate in, bringing benefits in terms of regeneration and inward investment. On busy urban corridors light rail services can offer: •

A high quality of ride throughout the entire journey.

Short dwell-times.

Park and Ride facilities at a number of stations which can be attractive to car users.

High passenger carrying capacity into urban areas provided in an environmentally-friendly way.

Predictable, reliable and regular service times with easy to understand routes.

Low-levels of noise with electric-power.

More stops and higher frequencies tend to improve the service catchment areas and when combined with dedicated routes and multiple stops in an urban centre

11


avoid a congestion build-up at rail termini plus reduced walk times due to ability to provide additional stops in urban areas. Light rail systems represent a specific solution to a transport problem, and will therefore not always be an appropriate system for all transport corridors. The choice of a light rail system over competing public transport systems depends on a number of factors such as travel demand on the corridor, capital and operating costs. Light rail systems are generally more suited to high-patronage corridors (due to higher capacity compared to bus alternatives), although lack the flexibility to re-route due to any land-use and demand changes along the route (which bus services can offer). Light rail systems are also usually more expensive and take longer to construct and develop (requiring a long-term planning process), compared to alternative roadbased systems. As part of the study, demand forecasts, cost estimates and economic appraisals were conducted for Light Rail based solutions along the identified heavy rail corridors were considered and the key Value for Money indicators are shown in Section 10.5.

3.3.3

Heavy Rail The location of Whitehill Bordon is between rail lines that terminate at Alton to the north and west of the town, and provide half hourly services to London, and the Portsmouth/London mainline to the east of the town. With minimum distances of less than 10km from the town, and with a couple of the routes having the potential to use historic rail alignments, the heavy rail option is certainly appealing. The advantages of heavy rail options are their ability to maximise the potential offered by this infrastructure and to feed on the network economies that this could provide. The potential for operational efficiencies over the light rail options (maintenance, depot, timetabling efficiencies) all present as an attractive proposition. Of course heavy rail is not a cheap option, the operating conditions and engineering rigour required are typically greater than light rail options. In that trade-off between the two modes lies the focus for much of this study. As part of the study, demand forecasts, cost estimates and economic appraisals were conducted for Heavy based solutions along the identified heavy rail corridors were considered and the key Value for Money indicators are shown in Section 10.4.

3.3.4

Scheme Options The alignments have been split into 4 corridors, and build on the previous work, reference numbers below are consistent with those in the Mott Gifford report. •

North West: - ML1 – Whitehill Bordon to Bentley heavy rail - LR1 – Whitehill Bordon to Bentley light rail - LR4 – Whitehill Bordon to Alton light rail

12


- ML5 – Whitehill Bordon to Alton heavy rail •

North East: - LR6 & LR6a -

Whitehill Bordon to Farnham light rail

South East: - LR3 – Whitehill Bordon to Liphook light rail - ML4 – Whitehill Bordon to Liphook heavy rail

South West: - LR2 &LR2a – Whitehill Bordon to Liss light rail - ML2 & ML2a – Whitehill Bordon to Liss heavy rail

13


Figure 2.1 shows the heavy rail alignments and Figure 2.2 shows the Light Rail Alignments.

Figure 2.1 – Heavy Rail Alignments

14


Figure 2.2 – Light Rail Alignments

3.3.5

LR1 and ML1 – Whitehill Bordon to Bentley The Whitehill Bordon to Bentley route follows the same alignment for light and heavy rail options. This option largely follows the trackbed of the old Bentley to Whitehill Bordon branch line which had diverged from the existing line between Bentley and Alton station just to the west of Blacknest Road. Beginning from Bentley the vertical alignment is proposed to remain at-grade for the first 400 metres before entering a 0.5km cutting on a moderate 0.9% rising gradient. The next 8km is proposed to be mostly on embankment fill on a gently falling or level

15


gradient into Whitehill Bordon. At this point it will connect at-grade with the integrated transport hub.

3.3.6

ML5 – Whitehill Bordon to Alton This will be a new rail corridor running from a connection with the existing railway to the south west of Alton – currently being used for the Watercress Line – to the integrated transport hub at Whitehill Bordon. From Alton station the vertical alignment will remain level for the first 0.8km, with progressively more embankment fill to 10m in height in localised areas. This provides sufficient elevation for a grade separated bridge crossing with the A31. Beyond this the route remains on a reducing embankment fill for the next 1km. From here the route rises significantly for 2km – the rise is too significant to follow at surface, and a tunnel would be required , for 2.5km in length. Beyond the tunnel a SSSI is encountered and unless tunnelling is longer and deeper, this cannot be avoided. Beyond the SSSI the route continues on falling ground and on embankment to allow crossing of Oakhanger, Gibbs lane and Oakhanger road.

3.3.7

LR4 – Whitehill Bordon to Alton This will be a new light rail corridor running from the southeast side of Alton station to the integrated transport hub at Whitehill Bordon. The route runs parallel and approximately 2km to the north of the ML5 alignment. The key issues of the vertical alignment are similar to ML5, a shorter tunnel could be used as the route avoids the wider part of the SSSI.

3.3.8

LR6 & 6a – Whitehill Bordon to Farnham This route runs from the integrated transport hub in Whitehill Bordon to the railway station in Farnham almost 15km to the north. LR6 goes direct to Farnham, whilst 6a goes via Kingsley. These are the longest of the options considered. The route contours through the countryside adjacent to roads in some areas, and through the wider landscape in others. The route passes over common land to the north of Whitehill Bordon, and whilst avoiding SSSI areas throughout, the route does pass near and through areas of ancient monuments. At the Farnham end of the route a number of road crossings need to be negotiated as the route enters the town running parallel with the A31.

3.3.9

ML4 – Whitehill Bordon to Liphook heavy rail This option is formed using sections of the dismantled Longmoor Military Railway and sections of new railway corridor. The route from Whitehill Bordon would be connected at Liphook station in the London bound direction only. From Liphook the route would be connected to the Portsmouth mainline via double junction of a single lead turnout with a crossover preceding it between the up and down lines – the final layout would be dependent on the operational requirements/constraints. On leaving Liphook the route falls at a max gradient of 2% on progressively higher embankment for 2km providing sufficient elevation to cross the various roads (Portsmouth Road, Bohut Manor access, Longmoor Road). Beyond Longmoor road the route will follow a rising gradient on the approach to crossing the A3. Beyond this point, without the need for further road crossing over the next 16


3.5km the vertical alignment will contour existing topography on up to 10m of embankment to minimise the impact of gradient. The route then joins ML2 along for the run into Whitehill Bordon.

3.3.10

LR3 – Whitehill Bordon to Liphook light rail LR3 follows the route of ML4 for much of its length. LR3 runs from the integrated transport hub in Whitehill Bordon south east to Liphook. The route follows ML2 as it leaves Whitehill Bordon, and then cuts east to skirt the northern edge of the special conservation area of Woolmer Forest. The variation comes on the approaches to Liphook, where the light rail line is able to follow a more direct route into Liphook adjacent to the existing highway.

3.3.11

ML2 & ML2a – Whitehill Bordon to Liss heavy rail This route primarily follows the course of the LMR. Connection to the station at Liss would depend on operational constraints, but could be a combination of links to London bound, Portsmouth bound or as shuttle operation. In all scenarios the vertical alignment from Liss will be required to immediately enter a 0.4km shallow cutting on a rising gradient of 2%, and thence for 4km at a 0.8% gradient on embankment for a further 4km to carry the route over Liss Forest Road, then onto viaduct for 0.6km up to 18m in height on the approaches to the A3. Beyond this the route runs on falling gradient 0.95% for 2.6km contouring with the topography. Beyond here problems with light manufacturing usage and road crossings lead to the need for some sharp 2% inclines , before falling gradient brings the route back to existing topography. Route option 2A takes a more direct route through Longmoor forest.

3.3.12

LR2 &LR2a – Whitehill Bordon to Liss light rail These options broadly follow ML2. Differences occur on the approaches to Liss, where the route takes a more easterly direction rather than following the LMR. LR2a avoids Longmoor Forest entirely by pushing out to the west as the route enters the forest and runs via Greatham before tying back into ML2 once it has crossed the A3.

17


4

Option Appraisal

4.1

Introduction This section provides a summary of how the case for improved Public Transport Access to Whitehill Bordon has been prepared, and how this ties in with the appraisal requirements of both the DfT through WebTAG, and Network Rail through GRIP.

4.2

Appraisal Structure In setting the appraisal framework it is first important to set the baseline position for the scheme. In common parlance – what is the do-minimum situation, and what are the schemes we are proposing to test against it? For the Whitehill Bordon project, the do-minimum has been taken from the transport strategy documents – specifically in terms of: •

Housing growth and timing;

Employment growth and timing;

Supporting PT infrastructure – we have assumed the basic bus, walk, cycle and planning strategies are in place.

In effect we have undertaken the appraisal to understand whether there is a case to go beyond the already extensive planned bus based strategy, and employ mass transit based solutions (heavy rail / light rail) to the transport problems presented. The broad structure of DfT style appraisals use the following headings: •

Environment

Safety

Economy

Accessibility

Integration (policy)

The GRIP assessment focuses more directly on the economic case, but also considers detail on the engineering and operational considerations that feed into such a case. The following sections outline the appraisal in each of these areas.

18


5

Policy Integration

5.1

Transport Visions and Objectives As identified in the Emerging Transport Strategy for Whitehill Bordon: The designation of Whitehill Bordon as one of the Country’s first four Eco Towns provides an exciting opportunity for essential re-development of the town, regenerating its core and creating a town that people can be proud of for years to come…. A high-quality transport system is essential to support the town’s expansion, and to the future success and economic viability of the town….. integral to the strategy is to reduce the need to travel, particularly by car, and re-focus the transport system, giving priority to non-car based transport…

The concept for the Eco-town is to allow development and regeneration of the area, in a sustainable way, in a way that focuses travel away from the private car, but also in a way that does not stifle economic growth, and indeed actively supports it. In setting the Transport Vision for Whitehill Bordon the Emerging Strategy recognises that each form of transport plays a part (including the car).

5.2

Regeneration and Railways Transport schemes have the potential to provide the additional economic stimulus for an area to enhance its commercial and economic hubs. This highlights a series of situations where opening or enhancing rail connections have impacted on regional development. The case studies presented are a combination of major city centre developments – Kings Cross, Ashford in Kent – as well as smaller town based schemes such as the opening of through services to Alloa from Stirling. The latter example seems particularly pertinent to the Whitehill Bordon case, given its size, and proximity to a major conurbation in Glasgow. The findings in the short time since re-opening only 2 years ago are striking – financial/business sectors focussing on the town (up from 31% to 45%) with total employment in the town up 16% against a background of declining employment in the region. The dichotomy of course is that improved public transport accessibility per se can provide such stimulus, but that the overall quality and design of the infrastructure is as relevant, particularly with attracting investment to an area – perception of accessibility being as important as the reality of journey times. On that basis, rail or light rail connectivity would provide a considerable additional economic stimulus over and above the base levels of public transport being developed within the strategy. Of course the dilemma for the Eco-town concept is striking the balance between connectivity to allow regeneration of the area and attract investment – with connectivity to more major centres in London and Portsmouth. No one is suggesting that an Eco-town should develop in isolation of the wider economy, but the drive for increasingly fast connections to the major economic centres of the south east needs to be balanced with the potential out-commuting stimulus that may provide.

5.2.1

Value of Wider Economic Benefits

19


Building on the good practice recommendations for capturing economic benefits of infrastructure projects, including the DfT’s WEB TAG and the HM Treasury’s Green Book, indicative wider economic benefits were calculated for the provision of the rail link in Whitehill Bordon. The proposed rail link and associated infrastructure are an integral part of the development of the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town. Given the current availability of information, the analysis follows an approach for valuing the direct employment and economic impacts (in terms of Gross Value Added) associated with the Eco-town’s ‘preferred option’. Using the appropriate proportioning factor derived from cost estimates for the Eco-town and the rail link, the relevant economic benefits were attributed to the latter. The masterplan for the Eco-town suggests that up to 155,000 sq of commercial (gross external) floorspace could be delivered as part of the Eco-town. Applying good practice employment densities sourced from the Homes and Communities Agency's Employment Density Guide (2010) to the gross internal floorspace estimates, the analysis derived the gross employment impacts of the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Development. Evidence available in the public domain suggests that major rail infrastructure schemes such as the proposed rail link are likely to have the greatest impact on the professional services sector. Such employees will generally be accommodated in B1a type floorspace. Of the additional jobs, 3,200 B1a gross jobs are envisaged to be created in the Eco-town which relate to some £207 million of annual contributions to the GDP. The recent Research to Improve Assessment of Additionallity, BIS 2009 suggests that some 53% of the gross impacts associated with capital expenditure based physical infrastructure projects are not additional i.e. lost as a result of deadweight, leakage, displacement and substitution effects. Using this benchmark, it is appropriate to infer that only 47% of the gross economic outputs will be accounted as actual (net) impacts of the proposed Eco-town and the rail link. The analysis concludes that some £9.1 million of annual contributions to the regional GDP (proxy for Gross Value Added or GVA) will be derived from the proposed provision of the rail link in the station. These benefits have been assumed to persist for 10 years based on the assumptions outlined in the BIS Practical Guideline on Implementing the Impact Evaluation Framework. Although this needs to be included as a sensitivity test based on current DfT guidance, the committed development of the infrastructure at the outset would in effect provide a catalyst to develop the Eco-town. Further discussion of the treatment of this figure in terms of value for money will be covered in Chapter 10.

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6

Operational Issues

6.1

Introduction In order to inform the business case it is necessary to understand what options could realistically be delivered from an operational rail perspective. This section examines the heavy rail operational issues of providing an enhanced link and also examines the issues surrounding the provision of light rail connections. The section considers the options for integration of services with those in the vicinity of Whitehill Bordon. Options to the north of the Eco-town focus on the Alton line and those to the south consider options from the Portsmouth to Waterloo Mainline.

6.2

Alton Line Options There are a number of realistic possibilities for running trains through to Whitehill Bordon and stations on the wider network via the Alton line either from Bentley or from Alton itself. The current standard hour train plan is shown in Figure 6.1

Figure 6.1 – Alton Line Train Plan This shows that trains are scheduled to cross at Farnham Station (40.4 miles from Waterloo), on the double track section of the line. The double track extends as far west as the entrance to Farnham EMU depot (41 miles from Waterloo), where there is an estimated a 3 minute separation between the up and down trains at the start of the single track section. Whilst there is a loop at Bentley, Alton passenger services do not cross there at any time of the day. The current timetable is arranged so that train 2 arrives at Alton (49.3 miles from Waterloo) 4 minutes before train 1 leaves for London, i.e. for 8 minutes each hour both platforms at Alton are occupied and the turn-round time is 34 minutes.

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This inefficient use of rolling stock means that it would be relatively straightforward to extend trains from Alton to Bordon, the 34 minute turnaround time being reduced to 18 if trains run non-stop between Alton and Bordon (estimated 8 minute run time each way). At current timings trains would pass just west of Alton, requiring a section of double electrified track extending along the Mid Hants Railway, probably to the point at which the routes separate. While this appears a simple way of running a through rail service to Whitehill Bordon, there are a number of disadvantages: •

The route is circuitous as trains will travel 5 miles east from Bordon before turning towards London and thus long – nearly 57 miles, an estimated 75 minutes in the peaks (fast Waterloo to Woking) and 81 minutes off-peak (calls at Surbiton and Clapham in the current timetable);

Alton services are not split or joined on route at present, even in the peaks (when 12-car 450s and 10-car 444s are used on the route). Full length trains thus operate through to Bentley (main platform 6 cars long) and Alton where platforms can accommodate 8-car trains. It is assumed that Selective Door Opening is used with the London end unit on longer trains locked out of use west of Farnham. With through running Whitehill Bordon would need to be able to accommodate a 12car train even if Selective Door Opening/locking was used here as well.

An alternative through service could operate via Bentley. Although splitting and joining at Bentley is not desirable, there is the potential to split services at Farnham or more suitably at Aldershot as there are three platform roads.

Apart from the need to roster a shunter to be on duty throughout the operating day at the split/join location, this option has a number of advantages over through running via Alton: •

Shorter route to Whitehill Bordon (50 miles to Waterloo), with a shorter journey time of 71 minutes peak and 77 minutes off-peak;

Shorter train lengths (8-car max) at the short platforms of Bentley and Alton;

Shorter trains at Whitehill Bordon, and thus shorter platforms / loops if peak demand per train at Whitehill Bordon exceeds the capacity of a single unit.

A 4 minute signalling separation between the first and second portions of the train has been assumed. Operational constraints west of Bentley and in particular at Alton station mean that the Alton portion of each split-join train would have to run as now to avoid trains crossing on the long single-track stretch between Bentley and Alton. We have therefore assumed that the down Whitehill Bordon portion follows 4 minutes behind (irrespective of whether splitting was at Aldershot or Farnham), with the up Whitehill Bordon portion preceding the Alton train by 4 minutes. As can be seen, the down Whitehill Bordon train leaves the 2-track section through Bentley station and Bentley Junction only 9 minutes before the next up Whitehill Bordon section arrives at Bentley Junction, so double-track or a passing loop on the Whitehill Bordon branch may be needed.

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With 7 minutes travel time from Whitehill Bordon to Bentley and a 4 minute wait at the split/join location, a through time Whitehill Bordon to Waterloo of 71 minutes peak and 77 minutes off-peak should be possible, 4 minutes faster than via Alton. Other service options are possible and considered in outline below: •

Routing the main train to Whitehill Bordon, with a shuttle to Alton (as noted, sending the second portion of a split-join to Alton is not possible without a passing loop) this reduces the Whitehill Bordon to Waterloo journey time by 4 minutes, but the Whitehill Bordon branch needs to be able to accommodate 12-car trains and the 34 minute layover issue currently present at Alton is transferred to Whitehill Bordon;

Alternate services and shuttles – 1tph of each to Alton, 1tph of each to Whitehill Bordon;

Separate through services to Whitehill Bordon and Alton, as suggested by Mott Gifford. This involves diverting the current Ascot to Aldershot (reverse) to Guildford service.

Diversion of Ascot Services Mott Gifford envisaged Ascot to Bentley (a 4-car train at all times of the day) and assuming current timings east of Aldershot are maintained (given peak period congestion east of Woking), with a 17 minute gap between a down London train passing Bentley Junction and the next up London train arriving there is plenty of scope to separate the Ascot and London services, with the latter crossing in the loop at Bentley as shown in Figure 6.2.

Figure 6.2 – Ascot Train Plan In this chart the London train is shown going to Alton and the Ascot to Whitehill Bordon but with similar times from Bentley to either station these could easily be switched round. Here the Ascot train is shown running 9.5 minutes later than the 23


London train down and 9.5 minutes earlier up. In reality a short, safety margin, layover for both in the platforms at Bentley may be required. Allowing 16 minutes running time to Whitehill Bordon and back, trains crossing at Bentley can have a 14 minute layover, adequate for a longer distance service. Other Issues In addition to timing issues for through services the main 3rd party operational issue concerns the 3-5 days a week crude oil train between Fawley refinery and Holybourne Oil Sidings on the Alton branch. The train of empty tanks from the refinery runs through to Alton (platform 2), where the locomotive runs round. This takes 32 minutes as the passenger train in platform 1 needs to leave first. The train then runs back to Holybourne and reverses into the oil sidings drops the empty tanks, picks up loaded tanks and departs for Aldershot at with a layover in platform 1 at Bentley to allow a down passenger to pass. This is the only daytime service scheduled to use platform 2 at present. To accommodate this train the 10:23 from Waterloo terminates at Farnham and the 12:15 departure starts from Farnham, resulting in a 1 hour gap between trains at Bentley and Alton even on days when the oil train does not run. If through services to Whitehill Bordon are to run on this line, this freight movement could cause significant inter-peak disruption Given that output from the Humbly Grove oil field is in decline as 15 years ago there were 5 trains a week with now there are only being 2-3 per week, it may be possible to rationalise the oil sidings, creating locomotive run-round facilities there. The train could then run direct to Holybourne, avoiding the disruptive run-round and reversal at Alton. While a detailed timetabling exercise will be required to determine how this service can be accommodated in future without too much disruption to the enhanced passenger service is required, Peak Oil theory suggests that output from Humbly Grove will continue to decline and by the time additional Whitehill Bordon services would commence there may be insufficient oil produced at Humbly Grove to justify continued operation of the oil field or the train.

6.3

Portsmouth to Waterloo Main Line There are fewer realistic possibilities for running trains through to Whitehill Bordon and the wider network via Liss or Liphook. In terms of connectivity the Portsmouth line is a better way out of the new town as it links to sizeable communities both north and south. But additional cross-overs would be needed at either station to connect the branch with the down line as well as the up, probably requiring extensive re-signalling. At the existing station at Liss, a Whitehill Bordon branch would connect with the main line facing Havant, making through running to the south possible. While, with only 4tph, the line is capacity constrained given the different stopping patterns of the all-stations (calling at Liss) and semi-fast services (the down slow has a 10 minute layover at Haslemere for a fast to overtake) south of Liss the slow and fast stopping patterns are not too dissimilar and it should be possible to fit in an hourly inter-peak service to Havant and beyond in the path of 2nd slow service (which terminates at 24


Haslemere inter-peak). A practical approach may be 2tph shuttle to Liss in the peaks (when 2 main line trains per hour call) and an hourly through service plus an hourly shuttle off-peak. Portsmouth is a more likely destination than Southampton - given the difference in transit time between the Southampton-Portsmouth (all stations) service and the Cardiff-Portsmouth, Southampton-Brighton and Southampton-Victoria (non-stop) services, Fareham-Southampton, while double track, is close to capacity. A second slow service per hour is possible but would require wholesale re-timetabling of services via Fareham. At Liphook the connection would face London, raising the prospect of a through train to Waterloo in around 72 minutes. However, the journey time differential between fast and slow services is greater as there are more small stations only served by slow services. As Mott Gifford note, extra trains to London are not possible due to capacity constraints east of Woking, but an off-peak service could be created by starting back the Haslemere slow at Whitehill Bordon (with some re-timing). As at Liss, the service may be a 2tph shuttle in the peaks with an hourly through train plus hourly shuttle off-peak. In the peaks the 2nd slow train runs to/from Portsmouth, Hilsea or Havant. Depending on peak train loadings south of Liphook it might be possible to divert these trains to Whitehill Bordon in the peak as well as off-peak. If so, this would reduce the number of units needed to run the Portsmouth line. The Whitehill Bordon branch would need to be able to accommodate a 12-car train, as there is nowhere safe to split/join south of Guildford and 12-car trains are needed north of Guildford (trains on this route are some of the most overcrowded on South West trains).

6.4

Operational Summary A number of potential options have been identified which could be used to provide direct services to Whitehill Bordon. From deliverability perspective, running through via Alton would be the most achievable but the main drawback is that the route is circuitous as trains will travel 5 miles east from Bordon before turning towards London From a quality of service perspective, through running via Bentley would provide the quickest journey time to London, and provide a 2 trains per hour service both peak and off peak. This would not be as straightforward to deliver as an extension though Alton as to ensure that the service frequency to all existing stations along the line is maintained it would require splitting or diverting services. It is though acknowledged that this option would have potential impacts on journey times for existing passengers. For example splitting of services at either Aldershot or Farnham is likely to result in additional journey time at stations to the west of where services are split due to additional layover time required to separate the units. Further consideration of such issues will be conducted at the next study stage where a more detailed assessment of potential service options for a more refined list of options will be considered and service options which minimise the adverse effects on existing passengers will be developed.

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Opportunities for peak through running services to Liss and Liphook are limited by capacity although there may be some potential to extend interpeak services which terminate at Haslemere to Whitehill Bordon. What the assessment has shown is that there are clear possibilities for each of the rail options in operational terms, though in each case there are constraints that would have to be dealt with. In terms of journey times, the journey times shown in Table 6.1 between Whitehill Bordon and the adjoining stations have been assumed. Option

Journey Time

Whitehill Bordon via Bentley (ML1)

7 minutes

Whitehill Bordon via Liss (ML2)

7 minutes

Whitehill Bordon via Liss via Longmoor (ML2a)

8 minutes

Whitehill Bordon via Alton (ML5)

8 minutes

Whitehill Bordon via Liphook (ML4)

7 minutes

Table 6.1 – Rail Journey Time Assumptions These assume a design line-speed of 70mph with few restrictions along the route. As the project progresses, these estimates will need to be verified by detailed modelling of the actual performance of the intended rolling stock given the planned alignments for each option considering the grade, curves, crossings. While the routes to Bentley and Liss (direct) only have tight curves close to the terminal stations where trains would be decelerating on the approach to the station. Alton, Liss via Longmoor Camp and Liphook feature relatively low radius curves mid-route.

6.5

Light Rail Although the envisaged LRT schemes have no operational issues in terms of conflicts with the heavy rail network, there are number of factors which need to be considered when considering light rail as a potential solution. There are three main issues which need to be considered. Light rail systems represent a specific solution to a transport problem, and will therefore not always be an appropriate system for all transport corridors. The choice of a light rail system over competing public transport systems depends on a number of factors such as travel demand on the corridor, capital and operating costs. Light rail systems are generally more suited to high-patronage corridors (due to higher capacity compared to bus alternatives), although lack the flexibility to re-route due to any land-use and demand changes along the route (which bus services can offer). Light rail systems are also usually more expensive and take longer to construct and develop (requiring a long-term planning process), compared to alternative roadbased systems. LRT schemes historically have been implemented in urban areas. Although generally LRT vehicles do not have the maximum speed of heavy rail vehicles one of the main 26


benefits is the ability to provide a more intensive service in built up areas with improved penetration in the central business district through the potential for onstreet running. Given a large proportion of trips would either be internal within Whitehill Bordon or facilitating links to the national rail network, large sections of the route would have limited demand due to the low population density. Therefore this immediately place light rail at a disadvantage in terms of economic benefits compared to heavy rail due to the lower vehicle speeds. There would also be significant additional costs of providing a stand alone LRT system even compared to a heavy rail ‘shuttle’ service which requires interchange at existing stations. •

There would be the need to procure a new fleet specifically for use on the LRT alignment, construct and staff a new depot. Therefore any economies of scale which could be achieved by utilising South West Trains fleet, depots and staff would not be achievable using a light rail system.

The form of the contracts procuring light rail systems also has a bearing on costs. Although different types of contract have been used, most have been design, build, operate and maintain type contracts. Under these types of contracts operators have been left to bear all of the revenue risks. Escalating costs on proposed schemes suggested that operators were building premia into their bids to cover risks over which they had no control. These risks included, for example, fares policy, local parking provision, traffic priorities, planning consents along the light rail route and competing public and road transport provision.

A light rail scheme which stacks up in economic terms may not necessarily stack up financially without cross subsidisation of revenues. For example the total revenue generated may include heavy rail revenue from LRT/heavy rail interchange and the LRT system in isolation will be running at a deficit. Without the means to capture the additional wider revenues, the scheme could not proceed on financial grounds.

A further option would be the consideration of tram-train. Track-sharing, as the name suggests, represents the shared operation of a heavy rail line between light and heavy-rail systems. Track sharing has the significant benefit of being able to use existing railway infrastructure, rather than requiring the expensive construction of new alignments. In terms of disadvantages, in addition to the issues indentified above relating to LRT, the main additional drawback of tram-train is the performance impacts of running slower vehicles with more stops conflicting with the heavy rail network Therefore tram-train is a more appropriate solution compared to an LRT system operating in isolation where there is the ability to utilise existing heavy rail infrastructure and without providing significant impacts on the existing rail system in terms of performance. Given the both the need to provide a substantial quantity of new infrastructure and the capacity constraints identified above which will have significant performance impacts on the existing wider network, a tram-train operation will not be preferable to providing a segregated LRT system.

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7

Environmental Planning Constraints

7.1

Introduction The purpose of this section is to summarise the findings of the high level appraisal in terms of the key environmental and planning constraints associated with each proposed route corridor. The findings of the environmental appraisal will be used to inform the option selection process. This initial stage of the environmental appraisal process identifies what the statutory environmental and planning designations are within the study area and recommends which option should be taken forward for further consideration and assessment during the preferred option development stage. The selection process has considered which option would have the fewest potential environmental and planning constraints, based on whether it would pass through or require direct land take from the statutory environmental and planning designations. The environmental features and constraints are identified within the study area which includes a 500m boundary around the proposed heavy rail and light rail routes. The environmental study area and environmental and planning constraints can be seen in Appendix A. The appraisal has been carried out through a desk based assessment. At this stage, a site visit has not been carried out and consultation has not been undertaken with the Statutory Consultees. Information has been obtained from on line data sources provided by Consultees which include Natural England, Multi-Agency Geographic Information for the Countryside (MAGIC), the Environment Agency and English Heritage. Following the selection of preferred option, an environmental appraisal of the preferred rail option will be carried out and consultation will be undertaken as part of the GRIP3 Study.

7.2

Summary of Main Environmental and Planning Constraints in the Study Area The study area falls within the East Hampshire District of Hampshire County Council. Whitehill Bordon is located in the centre of the study area, as the objective of this rail feasibility study is to identify appropriate public transport options for the future development of the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town. There are a number of other villages and towns in the study area, including Liss and Liphook, which are located in the southern part of the study area and Alton and Bentley which are located in the northern part of the study area. The study area is an environmentally sensitive area. There a number of statutory environmental and planning designations within it with the intention of protecting these sensitive areas. A large part of the study area falls within the South Downs National Park (SDNP). National parks are designated for their landscape value and for encouraging visitors to these areas. The objectives of the SDNP are to ‘conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage and to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of their special qualities’. The boundary of the park was extended in 2009, confirmed in March 2010 and comes into force from April 2011.

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In addition, the study area includes the following statutory environmental and planning designations: •

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CRoW), Access Layer

Countryside and Rights Of Way Act (CRoW), Section 15 Land

Local Nature Reserves

Registered Common Land

Village Greens

Scheduled Monuments

Sites of Special Scientific Interest, which are national designations

Special Areas of Conservation, which are European designations in accordance with the European Habitats Directive

Special Protection Areas, which are European designations in accordance with the European Habitats Directive

There are no other statutory designations (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Bathing Waters Directive, Biosphere Reserves, Environmentally Sensitive Areas, Less Favoured Areas, Moorland, National Nature Reserves, Nitrate Sensitive Areas, Ramsar Sites or World Heritage Sites) within in the study area. In terms of other significant environmental features in the study area, the junction of A325 and Chalet Hill in Whitehill Bordon has been recently (9th July 2010) declared a Local Air Quality Management Area (LAQMA) by East Hampshire District Council, due to the elevated concentration of nitrogen dioxide at this junction. There are no other LAQMAs within the study area. There are a number of surface water features including ponds, streams (Kingsley stream, Oakhanger stream) and rivers (River Slea, River Wey). There are fluvial flood risk areas associated some of these rivers where the flood risk varies from moderate to significant risk. A moderate risk is a risk of 1.3% (1 in 75) or less but greater than 0.5% (1 in 200) and a significant risk is a risk of 1.3% (1 in 75) or greater in accordance with the Environment Agency classification. In terms of the sensitivity of the underlying ground conditions, British Geological Survey, Solid Drift and Geology Map Sheet 300 1:50,000 scale indicates that the naturally occurring sub soil in the study area is Gault Clay, underlain by Chalk and in tern the Folkestone Beds Formation which consists of ferruginous sand. The groundwater beneath the site is sensitive to potential contamination as the Chalk formation is considered to be a principal and secondary aquifer. There are also two inner groundwater Source Protection Zones (SPZs) within the study area to protect groundwater for abstraction purposes. There are a number of potentially contaminative land uses within the study area including the Defence Estates training areas and a number of historical and active landfill sites. There is also potential for unexploded ordnance to be present within the study area due to its historical land use.

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Even though these features would not present a planning constraint, they have been taken into consideration for the engineering and economic appraisal of the options, presented within this report.

7.3

Whitehill Bordon to Alton Routes

7.3.1

Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for ML5 This option passes along the southern boundary of Shortheath common, a CRoW Act 2000, Access Layer. It also passes 600 metres south of Binswood Common. The location of these sites should be taken into consideration at the design stage in order to ensure that there is no land take from these areas. This option has direct land take requirements from a number of European and national ecological designations within the study area. It passes through Wickwood and Worldham Hangers SSSI and through the southern boundary of Shortheath Common SSSI and is approximately 600 metres south of a second area of Binswood SSSI. It passes through East Hampshire Hangers SAC and along the southern boundary of Shortheath Common SAC. The ecological areas will have to be taken into consideration at the option development stage in order to ensure that there are no adverse impacts on ecology and biodiversity. The location of these ecological designations would present a constraint in terms of development of the design of this option. This option does not pass through scheduled monuments or through Village Greens. It passes south of a Shortheath Common which is a Village Green and Registered Common Land and so would have to be aligned to ensure that there is no direct land take required from Shortheath Common. Landtake from statutory designations presents a significant constraint in terms of development of the design of this option Approximately half of this alignment runs through the South Downs National Park (SDNP). The environmental appraisal at the next stage will need to include a landscape and visual impact assessment and the design will need to ensure integration with the surrounding landscape. In addition access for users of the SDNP would have to be maintained

7.3.2

Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for LR4 This option passes along the northern boundary of Binswood Common, a CRoW Act 2000, Access Layer. The location of this site should be taken into consideration at the design stage in order to ensure that there is no land take from these areas. This option passes through an area designated as the East Hampshire Hangers SAC and Wick Wood and Worldham Hangers SSSI. This option does not pass through scheduled monuments or through Village Greens. The ecological areas will have to be taken into consideration at the option development stage in order to ensure that there are no adverse impacts on ecology and biodiversity. The location of these ecological designations would present a constraint in terms of development of the design of this option. Approximately half of this alignment runs through the SDNP. The environmental appraisal at the next stage will need to include a landscape and visual impact 30


assessment and the design will need to ensure integration with the surrounding landscape.

7.4

Whitehill Bordon to Bentley Routes

7.4.1

Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for ML1 and LR1 This option passes through the least number of statutory environmental designations and environmental planning sites, as it only passes through the SDNP. The alignment of this option does not pass through areas of Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000 Access Layer or through CRoW Section 15 Land. This option does not have any direct land take requirements from ecological designated sites or pass through ecological designated sites within the study area. However, there are a number of designated ecological areas located in close proximity of the route alignment. These include Shortheath Common SSSI and SAC, Wickwood and Worldham Hangers SSSI, East Hampshire Hangers SAC. These ecological areas will have to be taken into consideration at the options development stage in order to ensure that there are no indirect impacts on ecology and biodiversity. This would present a constraint in terms of development of the design of this option. This option does not pass through any areas of Registered Common Land, Village Greens or scheduled monuments within the study area. The majority of this option passes through the SDNP. The environmental assessment at the next stage will need to include a landscape and visual impact assessment to understand the potential implications on the character of the area and the possible implications for visual receptors from various view points. This will enable the design, if the option is taken forward, to integrate with the surrounding landscape.

7.5

Whitehill Bordon to Farnham Route

7.5.1

Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for LR6 This option passes through the greatest number of statutory environmental designation and environmental planning sites as it passes through or is adjacent to seven statutory designations. This option passes along the southern boundary of Broxhead Common, a CRoW Act 2000, Access Layer. This site is also a Local Nature Reserve. The location of this site would provide a constraint and should be taken into consideration at the design stage in order to ensure that there is no land take from the site. This option has direct land take requirements from European and national ecological designations within the study area. It passes through Broxhead and Kingsley Common SSSI and Wealden Heaths Phase II SPA. The ecological areas will have to be taken into consideration at the option development stage in order to ensure that there are no adverse impacts on ecology and biodiversity. The location of these ecological designations would present a constraint in terms of development of the design of this option. 31


This option passes through a scheduled monument area at Alice Holt Forest, a Roman British Kiln Site. This would have to be taken into consideration at the next stage of the design process and would provide a constraint in terms of land take in this area. It does not pass through any areas of Village Green. This option is aligned adjacent to the A325, which passes through Broxhead Common an area of Registered Common Land. This would provide a constraint in terms of land take in this area. Landtake from statutory designations presents a significant constraint in terms of development of the design of this option. Less than half of this alignment runs through the SDNP. The environmental assessment at the next stage will need to include a landscape and visual impact assessment and the design will need to ensure integration with the surrounding landscape.

7.5.2

Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for LR6A This option does not pass through any areas of CRoW Act 2000 Access Layer. Broxhead Common CRoW Act 2000 Access Layer and Local Nature Reserve is located less than 100 meters from this proposed alignment and should be taken into consideration at the option development stage. If the alignment is changed it should be ensured that there is no land take from this area. This option has direct land take requirements from ecological designations within the study area. It passes through Kingsley Common SSSI. It is also adjacent to the B3004 road, which passes through Wealden Heaths Phase II SPA. Shortheath Common SAC is located 200 meters from this alignment and should be taken into consideration at the design stage of the project. The ecological areas will have to be taken into consideration at the option development stage in order to ensure that there are no adverse impacts on ecology and biodiversity. The location of these ecological designations would present a constraint in terms of development of the design of this option. This would present a constraint in terms of development of the design of this option. This option passes through a scheduled monument area at Alice Holt Forest, a Roman British Kiln Site. This option also passes through Kingsley Common which is Registered Common Land and an area of Village Greens. It should be aligned to ensure that it does not require direct land take from Kingsley Common. These areas would have to be taken into consideration at the next stage of the design process and would provide an environmental and planning constraint. The archaeology and heritage assessment carried out would need to take into consideration the scheduled monument area adjacent to the route alignment in order to avoid any potential impacts. Landtake from statutory designations presents a significant constraint in terms of development of the design of this option. Less than half of this alignment runs through the SDNP. The environmental assessment at the next stage will need to include a landscape and visual impact assessment and the design will need to ensure integration with the surrounding landscape.

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7.6

Whitehill Bordon to Liss Routes

7.6.1

Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for ML2 and LR2 The alignment of this option does not pass through areas of CRoW Act 2000 Access Layer or through CRoW Section 15 Land. This option would require direct land take from European and nationally designated ecological sites. It passes along the western boundary and through the southern area of Woolmer Forest, which is a SSSI and SAC. It also passes through the western boundary of Wealden Heaths Phase II SPA. It passes through Liss Riverside Railway Walk (North), a Local Nature Reserve. LR2 has a slightly different alignment and does not pass through this Local Nature Reserve. The ecological areas will have to be taken into consideration at the options development stage in order to ensure that there are no adverse impacts on ecology and biodiversity. This option does not pass through Village Greens, Registered Common Land or scheduled monuments designations. It passes south of scheduled monument areas in Longmore Common which will have to be taken into consideration at the detailed design stage to ensure that there are no indirect impacts from the design or construction of this option. Landtake from statutory designations presents a significant constraint in terms of development of the design of this option. With the exception of the Whitehill Bordon area, this majority of this option passes through the South Downs National Park. The environmental assessment at the next stage will need to include a landscape and visual impact assessment and the design will need to ensure integration with the surrounding landscape in particular.

7.6.2

Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for ML2A and LR2A This option is a minor variation of Option ML2 and LR2, which are described above. Similarly to Option ML2, it passes through four statutory environmental planning designations, has the same other environmental issues and risks and the same assessment required at the next stage, which are described above. The differences are: •

LR2A is adjacent to two areas of Village Green, which would be taken into consideration at the detailed design stage in order to ensure that there is no land take from this area.

ML2A and LR2A do not pass through the southern area of Wealden Heaths Phase II SPA and therefore have less land take requirements from this ecological designation

ML2A and LR2A do not pass through the scheduled monument areas in Longmore Common

7.7

Whitehill Bordon to Liphook Routes

7.7.1

Statutory Environmental and Planning Designations for ML4 and LR3

33


Similarly to LR6, this option passes through the greatest number of statutory environmental designation and environmental planning sites as it passes through or is adjacent to seven statutory designations. It would present the greatest number of environmental and planning constraints. This option passes along the southern boundary of Passfield Common, a CRoW Act 2000 Access Layer and CRoW Section 15 land. The location of this site should be taken into consideration at the option development stage in order to ensure that there is no land take from this area. This would represent a constraint in terms of the development of this option. This option has direct land take requirements from ecological designations within the study area. It passes through the eastern area of Woolmer Forest, which is an SSSI and SAC and through an area of Wealden Heaths Phase II SPA. This option would therefore require direct land take from European designated ecological sites and a national designated site. The ecological areas will have to taken into consideration at the options development stage in order to ensure that there are no adverse impacts on ecology and biodiversity. This would present a constraint in terms of development of the design of this option This option does not have any land take requirements through scheduled monuments or Village Greens. It passes along the southern boundary of Passfield Common, which is Registered Common Land, which would represent a design constraint if this option were taken forward to the detailed design stage and its location would need to be taken into consideration in order to ensure that there are no potential impacts on this land. Landtake from statutory designations presents a significant constraint in terms of development of the design of this option. The majority of the alignment of this option passes through the SDNP. The environmental assessment at the next stage will need to include a landscape and visual impact assessment and the design will need to ensure integration with the surrounding landscape.

7.8

Conclusions

7.8.1

Project Planning Implications

7.8.1.1

South Downs National Park Authority All proposed option alignments pass through the SDNP. In selecting the preferred option, consultation will be required with the SDNP Authority, who is the planning authority for all developments which fall within the park boundary. The members of the Authority include local council representatives, parish councils and national members. From April 2011, the National Park Authority will be the sole local planning authority for the major developments within the South Downs National Park. The development of rail options through this area may serve to encourage visitors to the SDNP and be seen as a benefit of developing public transport rail options. However, agreement and support from the SDNP is required in order to pursue any proposed major development through this area.

34


7.8.1.2

European designated sites All options would have potential impacts on European designated sites (SACs and SPAs) as each route passes in close proximity or directly through designated sites. Potential adverse impacts on these sites must be removed in order to ensure support from Natural England, one of the Statutory Consultees. A Habitat Regulations Assessment would be required to demonstrate this. It is recommended that options which pass directly through SACs or SPAs are avoided as demonstrating that no adverse impacts on the integrity of these sites would be a required. However, if any options which do pass through these designated sites are taken forward, there would be a requirement to demonstrate that there are no other feasible alternatives which would to avoid these areas. This is supported by the consultation already undertaken by East Hampshire District Council in relation to the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town development. East Hampshire District Council undertook consultation with Natural England in relation to the East Hampshire District Local Development Framework, Core Strategy Preferred Policies, in February 2010. In their response, Natural England has provided the following relevant points:

7.8.1.3

Adverse impacts on European sites (SPAs and SACs) should not only be minimised but removed entirely. Without removal of adverse impacts development cannot go ahead.

While the use of Suitable Alternative Greenspaces (SANGS) is likely to be very important, there will be other useful techniques such as access management that can help to mitigate for the impacts of development.

Compensation for European designated sites can only be provided in the exceptional circumstances of imperative reasons of overriding public interest.

Natural England were also consulted by the Department for Communities and Local Government in relation to the Eco-town programme, in June 2008. In relation to Whitehill Bordon Eco-town development, Natural England has raised concerns that there would be impacts, particularly from increased recreation on important areas of lowland heath (Walden Heaths SPA) and Woolmer Forest SSSI.

Planning Framework This rail feasibility study is supported by the planning framework and any project planning decisions will need to made in accordance with the policies set out in out within it. The key planning documents include the East Hampshire District Local Development Framework Core Strategy Preferred Policies for Whitehill Bordon. The findings of this study will also feed into the final policies within the Local Development Framework. Within this document, the Preferred Policy Approach for Transport sets out a policy for safeguarding land from development that lies along the route of the former Bordon to Bentley railway line. Other key planning documents and guidance include the Whitehill Bordon Masterplan as set out in the Supplementary Planning Documents, National Planning 35


Statement and Guidance, South East Plan, Policies WB1 to WB13 in the Core Strategy and the European Habitats Directive. 7.8.1.4

Transport and Works Act 2006 Order If the Transport and Works Act 2006 Order is required in relation to this project in the future, the project should seek to avoid , or otherwise have compelling justification for, carrying out works within environmentally sensitive sites or adversely affecting sensitive sites (1). The definition of environmentally sensitive sites includes a number of sites which would be potentially impacted by the proposed options; European Sites, land in a National Parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, common or other land to which section 19 of Acquisition of land Act 1981 applies. Applicants should also seek to avoid the demolition, alteration of, damage to the setting of listed buildings, buildings within a designated conservation area, or a scheduled monument. If the proposals would require the compulsory purchase of 210 square meters or more of common land, the applicant would need to provide comparable land to give in exchange. Where a project would have an adverse impact on the integrity of a European Site, the Secretary of State would agree to the project only if there were no viable alternative solutions and the project had to be carried out for reasons of ‘overriding public interest’ of a social or economic nature. In these circumstances the reason must be related to human health, public safety or benefit the environment. Where a project would involve the compulsory acquisition of land or rights to the land the prospective applicant should normally consultant the owners, lessees, tenants and occupiers of such land at an early stage.

7.8.2

Preferred Option Taking the project planning implications into consideration, it is considered that the alignment of Option ML1 / LR1 presents the least number of environmental constraints as it does not require land take from any statutory environmental and environmental planning designated areas. However, the majority of the alignment passes through the SDNP, which would require planning approval from the SDNP Authority. As it also located in close proximity to a number of European designations, in particular the East Hampshire Hangers SAC, it would need to be demonstrated that there are no potential impacts on these sites. The remaining options would present a number of constraints at the option development stage as

1 Department for Transport, A Guide to Transport and Works Act Procedures 2006 36


they would require land take from statutory environmental designations and/or statutory planning designations.

37


7.8.3

Next stage of study

7.8.3.1

Environmental appraisal During the preferred option development stage (Stage 2), a high level environmental appraisal will be carried out. This will assess the potential issues that have already been identified for the preferred option and will include: •

Landscape and visual impact -the route passes through the SDNP and in addition, in accordance with the East Hampshire district Council Local Development Framework emerging Core Strategy Preferred Policy CP16, Landscape Character Assessment should underpin planning decisions for developments.

Ecology and Nature Conservation- a desk based assessment of potential impacts on ecology and conservation, with particular reference to the SSSIs and European designated sites within the study area. The findings of the Whitehill Bordon Habitats Regulation Assessment Pre- Screening Data Report2 will be reviewed in relation to the proposals. If required at this stage Habitats Regulation Assessment will also need to be carried out at a later stage, in order to asses any potential implications on protected species and habitats.

Noise and Vibration- a high level appraisal of the potential noise and vibration impacts on noise sensitive receptors will be carried out.

Air quality-a high level appraisal of the potential impacts on air quality will carried out.

Ground conditions - this assessment will include a desk based contaminated land study to identify additional areas of potentially contaminated land and areas of unexploded ordnance risk. This will ensure that any potential impacts from contamination are minimised through the design and construction process.

Flood risk- the location of the flood risk areas will have to be taken into consideration at the option design stage.

Archaeology and heritage- a desk based archaeology and heritage study will be carried out which will include scheduled monuments and listed buildings information.

Community and non motorised users- an assessment of the impacts on community and non motorised users in the area will need to be undertaken, including how the proposals would contribute to Whitehill Bordon Eco-town

2 Whitehill Bordon Opportunity Habitats Regulation Assessment Pre-Screening Data Report, March 2009, UE Associates, University of Brighton 38


transport objectives. This assessment will link with the transport planning study being carried out by Halcrow as part of the rail feasibility study. Land ownership and changes in land use will be assessed as part of the economic and engineering study but any potential impacts on the community will be assessed as part of this environmental appraisal topic. The level of detail of the environmental appraisal at the next stage will reflect the level of detail of the route design and will be carried out to meet the environmental appraisal guidelines of the Network Rail GRIP 3. If the project is taken forward past GRIP3, it would require a statutory environmental impact assessment (EIA) to be carried out, as the project would fall under EIA Directive (3). The statutory EIA is outside the scope of this feasibility study but the information from the environmental appraisal can be used to inform the EIA at a later stage. Public consultation would be required as part of the statutory EIA process but is not required as part of this study.

7.8.3.2

Consultation The result of the next stage of the study will reduce the study corridor and allow more detailed environmental information to be obtained. Once the study corridor is reduced, consultation will be undertaken with key stakeholders. Statutory stakeholders and key stakeholders will include: •

Hampshire County Council relevant planning and environmental departments

East Hampshire District Council relevant planning and environmental departments

SDNP Authority

Natural England

English Heritage

Environment Agency

Network Rail

South West Trains

The potential non-statutory key stakeholders identified at this stage include: •

Defence Estate

3 Directive 85/338/EEC as amended by Directives 97/11/EC and 2003/35/EC 39


County Wildlife Trust

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Parish Councils

Ramblers association and other user groups in the study area.

The Consultee list will be confirmed through agreement with the Hampshire County Council. Consultation carried out at an early stage would help ensure project support and is less likely to lead to objections in the future.

40


8

Cost Estimation This section provides a brief description of the build up of capital costs, and the engineering assumptions that underpin them.

8.1

Engineering Assumptions Horizontal alignment, trackwork at interchanges with existing lines, and signalling were covered with in the GRIP 1 study. These were reviewed and generally accepted as no major issues were found which required them to be amended. There is still an outstanding issue regarding the capacity of resignalling work in the area and potential cost to be born by the Whitehill Bordon Link. Current costs have not allowed for any exceptional costs. Potential power demand was estimated for each heavy rail route option, using the vertical alignments generated in for this study, and costs based on the equipment requirements estimated from these. A vertical alignment was developed for each horizontal alignment using topographical and contour information obtained from Ordnance Survey 1:250,000 landform contours and OS 1:50,000 mapping tiles. The principles used in developing the vertical alignments were: •

Maximum rail longitudinal grade of 2%.

Vertical profile should be smooth in conformance with accepted norms. “Switchback” alignments are undesirable for railways as they may interfere with signal sighting distances, increase operational costs and adversely affect passenger comfort. This generally resulted in the alignments passing over all roads at grade separated junctions.

Providing 7.2m clearance between road and proposed rail level at all locations where rail over road bridges were required. All road rail crossings indicated in the GRIP 1 study were provided with grade separated crossings as level crossings are unlikely to gain approval for new rail works. Generally the rail alignment was taken over the existing roads as this suited the existing topography better than road over rail and will cause less disruption during construction.

Maximum fill heights of 10m, but locally higher values accepted over very short lengths where it was unclear whether these would actually exist within the accuracy of survey information.

Viaducts were used where the differences in proposed and existing levels were greater than 10m over significant lengths or where the width of land available was restricted, e.g. by existing urban development. The first stage was to establish the vertical alignment design, ground levels and topography required to develop costing up to GRIP 2. Full vertical alignment drawings are contained in Appendix B, but this section contains a commentary of the routes for each option.

With these assumptions as a starting point, issues relating to each of the heavy rail route options are outlined below.

8.1.1

ML1 Whitehill Bordon to Bentley This option largely follows the trackbed alignment of the old Bentley to Bordon branch line which had diverged from the existing operational single track line 41


between Bentley and Alton stations just to the west of Blacknest Road. In the design development of this option, the horizontal alignment proposed at GRIP stage 1 has been retained whilst further consideration has been given to the possible civil engineering requirements and demands in the development of the proposed vertical alignment. Beginning from the Bentley station end of the route, the proposed vertical alignment remains at-grade for the first 0.4km before entering a 0.5km cutting, all on a moderate, 0.9%, rising gradient. The next 8km is mostly on embankment on a gently falling or level gradient which will take the alignment into Bordon where it will connect at-grade with one of the two proposed integrated transport hub locations. The vertical alignment has been lifted from the old track bed in order to replace the original level crossings, at the locations identified at GRIP stage 1 report, with road over rail grade separated crossings. The reason for this is that relevant authorities are unlikely to accept level crossings on new rail construction. The crossings occur at Binstead Road, Sickles Road, B3004 Forge Road and Oakhanger Road. 7.2m vertical clearance has been provided at each location between the existing road surface level and the proposed top of rail level. At this stage of development, fill and cutting heights have been based on contours beneath the alignment centreline taken from OS 1:50,000 map tiles. Fill heights generally do not exceed 10m but greater heights have been accepted over some localised lengths, e.g. the B3004 Forge Road. More detailed design work with the benefit of detailed topographic survey will be required to establish the best form of construction at these locations. The vertical alignment has been designed as the best compromise for smooth bi-directional running without resorting to the highest permitted gradients or continual steep rising and falling grades. The latter would adversely affect rail operations and passenger comfort.

8.1.2

Whitehill-ML2 Bordon to Liss (via old LMR route) This option primarily follows the course taken by the old, and now dismantled, Longmoor Military Railway (LMR) through the Longmoor Training area. The route to Whitehill Bordon would be connected at Liss station in one or a combination of ways as described in the GRIP 1 Report. These are: •

in the London-bound direction,

•

in the Portsmouth-bound direction, or

•

as a separate shuttle route with the route having its own platform at Liss station while maintaining a connection in the Portsmouth-bound direction only, for the purpose of rolling stock movements etc.

As for the alignment design development methodology for all the various route options, the horizontal alignment proposed at GRIP1 has been retained whilst further consideration has been given to the possible civil engineering requirements and demands in the development of the proposed vertical alignment. Beginning from the Liss station end, the proposed Whitehill Bordon route connects with the current twin track railway of the Woking-Guildford-Portsmouth mainline. Depending on factors such as operational requirements and the favoured direction of 42


the proposed connection, the connection could either be in the form of a double junction or a single lead turnout with a crossover preceding it between the Up and Down mainlines, to allow access onto the route. In all scenarios the vertical alignment will immediately enter a 0.4km long shallow cutting on an assumed maximum 2% rising gradient before entering a 4km long shallower 0.80% rising gradient on embankment to carry the alignment over Liss Forest Road. The alignment will then on a viaduct for the next 0.6km which will take the line over the A3 Dual carriageway. This will be up to 18m in height above the existing topography at the highest location, on the approach to the crossing with the A3. The alignment then falls on a 0.95% gradient for the next 2.6km on embankment which will take it back to the level of the existing topography. The route continues at-grade for the next 0.5km. On the approach to the proposed crossing with Firgrove Road/Liphook Road, the existing land use in the area becomes progressively more built up with residential or light manufacturing land use. The vertical alignment rises from the existing topography on embankment for 0.8km at a maximum 2% gradient to allow it to adequately bridge over the road with the shortest ramp possible. Beyond the proposed bridge a combination of viaduct and embankment is required on a falling gradient of 2%. The viaduct is used where it is necessary to restrict construction width to avoid existing development either side of the route. A further 0.7km is required on embankment to take the route over a local depression in the ground levels before connecting at-grade with one of the two proposed integrated transport hub locations in Bordon. In common with the other heavy rail alignment options the vertical alignment has been designed to eliminate the need for level crossings by providing road over rail crossings at the locations identified at GRIP stage 1 report. 7.2m vertical clearance has been provided between the existing road surface level and the proposed top of rail level which is considered adequate and realistic at this stage of design development. The vertical alignment has been designed to be as favourable as practicably possible in both directions and is kept reasonably smooth without multiple steep rising and falling grades.

8.1.3

ML2A Whitehill Bordon to Liss (Direct Route) This option is a derivative of the main alignment option ML2. However instead of maximising the potential use of the dismantled LMR as in alignment option ML2, this option diverges further north at approximately 1.5km from Liss station to provide a more direct route to Whitehill Bordon. Beginning from the Liss station end of this derivative section of the route, the alignment starts on a rising 0.80% gradient on embankment to carry the alignment over Liss Forest Road. Over the next 0.5km the alignment becomes more level to minimise the required embankment height before rising at a steeper 1.6% gradient for the next 0.5km to gain sufficient height to cross the A3 Dual carriageway. From the north side of the A3 crossing to just north of the crossing with Longmoor Road, a 0.6km long viaduct is required. This is to allow the route to be carried over a localised depression in the ground level midway between the A3 and Longmoor Road crossings where 23m in height above the existing topography will need to be bridged. The use of a viaduct in this location has the added bonus of minimising intrusion into the adjacent SSSI. Beyond the proposed bridge at Longmoor Road the alignment is on embankment falling at a 1.5% gradient for the next 1km This will keep the route at a 43


sufficient elevation to cross over Woolmer Road before connecting back with the main ML2 alignment at chainage 7000.000 on the main ML2 route.

8.1.4

ML4 Whitehill Bordon to Liphook This option is formed using sections of the dismantled LMR and sections of a newly constructed railway corridor. The route to Whitehill Bordon would be connected at Liphook station in the London bound direction only. The GRIP stage 1 report identified space constraints in the layout and area surrounding the existing station at Liphook and concluded that a separate additional platform to provide a shuttle style service or a connection in the Portsmouth bound direction should not be considered. As with the alignment design development methodology for all the heavy rail route options, the horizontal alignment proposed at GRIP stage 1 has been retained whilst further consideration has been given to the possible civil engineering requirements and demands in the development of the proposed vertical alignment. Beginning from the Liphook station end, the route connects with the current twintrack railway of the Woking-Guildford-Portsmouth mainline. Depending on factors such as operational requirements and space constraints, the type of connection could either be in the form of a double junction or a single lead turnout with a crossover between the Up and Down mainlines preceding it. Upon leaving Liphook station, the vertical alignment will immediately fall on a 2% gradient on progressively higher embankment for the initial 0.1km to tie-in with the existing topography at Liphook. Still on embankment the route becomes more level, then on a gentle falling gradient for the next 2km providing sufficient elevation to cross the Portsmouth Road, Bohut Manor Access Roads and Longmoor Road. Beyond Longmoor Road, the route immediately follows a 2% rising gradient on the approach to the crossing with the A3 dual carriageway where the alignment peaks before falling at a 2% gradient, gradually reducing to a falling 1.3%. Without any further crossings likely to be required for the next 3.5km the vertical alignment follows, as closely as possible, the existing topography. This does require up to 10m high embankments to avoid “switch back� changes in gradient. At chainage 3000.000m, approximately 0.25km beyond the crossing with the A3, the horizontal alignment connects with the northern side of the old LMR loop and then follows route of old dismantled track bed, until it meets and takes the same route as the ML2 alignment at chainage 6500.000m. This is just before the crossing of Firgrove Road/Liphook Road.

8.1.5

ML5 Whitehill Bordon to Alton This option will be a completely new railway corridor from a connection to the existing single line railway just to the south-west side of Alton station (currently being used for operations on the Watercress steam railway), to the transport hubs in Whitehill Bordon. As with the alignment design development methodology for all the route options, the horizontal alignment proposed at GRIP stage 1 has been retained whilst further consideration has been given to the possible civil engineering requirements and demands in the development of the proposed vertical alignment. Beginning from the Alton station end, the vertical alignment will remain approximately level for the first 0.8km of the route with progressively higher 44


embankment up to 10m in height in localised areas. This provides sufficient elevation for a grade separated bridge crossing with the A31 dual carriageway. Beyond the A31, the route remains on embankment but this gradually reduces in height over the next 1km. At this point, chainage 2000.000m, the existing topography rises from 110.000m to over 160.000m above datum over a plan distance of 2.0km. The only realistic construction option here is to tunnel through the high ground as it rises too steeply to keep the railway in open cut on a rising grade. Neither are there sensible alignment options for avoiding the highest ground. The tunnel would need to be at least 2.5km long, including 25m length portals at each end, on a gently falling gradient. It would be 55m below ground at its deepest location, chainage 4000.000m, and the majority of the length of the tunnel would be greater than 15m deep. This indicates that a bored tunnel is likely to be the most economic form of construction. Beyond the southern end of the tunnel, the route encounters an SSSI. We have used the most economic alignment and tunnel length which involves some surface alignment through the SSSI. The surface construction impacts of bored tunnels tend to be concentrated at portals, or locations of vertical intervention shafts, as these are where excavated materials are brought out and construction materials are sent into the tunnel. Further studies should concentrate on the tunnel construction methodology with particular reference to environmental impacts. These may indicate that it is preferable to have a lower, longer tunnel in order to reduce adverse impacts. The route beyond the tunnel continues on a falling then level gradient, still on embankment, to achieve sufficient elevation to cross Oakhanger, Gibbs Lane and Oakhanger Road, whilst maintaining a sensible balance of embankment volume with comfortable, practical vertical alignment for running in both directions.

8.2

Cost Estimates This section provides a summary of the infrastructure costs for the heavy rail options which formed the input into the business case. Table 8.1 shows a breakdown of the costs for each option.

Stations

45

ML1 to Bentley (8.9km) £m

ML2 to Liss (10.7km) £m

ML2A to Liss (8.7km) £m

ML4 to Liphook (8.3km) £m

ML5 to Alton (10.7km) £m

7.200

9.000

9.000

8.000

7.750


ML1 to Bentley (8.9km) £m

ML2 to Liss (10.7km) £m

ML2A to Liss (8.7km) £m

ML4 to Liphook (8.3km) £m

ML5 to Alton (10.7km) £m

Civils works in forming embankments, cuttings, etc

28.839

24.567

21.948

31.063

106.667

Grassing and planting

1.477

1.631

1.275

1.726

1.409

Route crossings and realignment of existing footways and bridleways

1.459

2.440

1.982

1.917

1.162

Works to adjoining boundaries, acoustic measures etc

0.449

0.513

0.513

0.375

0.626

6.300

21.700

16.350

17.200

4.550

P- Way and Associated Works

21.252

26.038

21.109

21.278

26.829

Works at depot (notional allowance only)

0.250

0.250

0.250

0.250

0.250

Contractors preliminaries

13.445

17.228

14.485

16.632

32.834

Traction Power

10.930

15.3238

6.751

12.319

16.455

Signalling

11.114

14.078

12.535

12.226

17.783

Total Construction Costs

102.715

132.683

106.198

122.716

216.315

Design and Management Costs

9.967

12.668

10.563

11.903

20.106

Risk Contingency

16.902

21.803

17.514

20.193

47.284

TOTAL INDICATIVE COST at 4Q 2010 prices

129.585

167.153

134.275

154.812

283.705

Civils

Bridges

Railway systems works by Network Rail

Table 8.1 – Cost Summary (Excluding Optimism Bias) In each case it has been assumed that a connection would be provided to the mainline rail network as a connection would be required for rolling stock to access the depot at Farnham. As a result the same cost estimates for both through running services and shuttle services have been assumed. In terms of the phasing, the cost build up shown in Table 8.2 has been assumed. Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Year 7

Design and management costs

37%

26%

8%

13%

16%

0%

0%

Civils

0%

0%

0%

44%

56%

0%

0%

ML1 Bentley

46


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Year 7

0%

0%

0%

0%

44%

56%

0%

Design and management costs

37%

25%

8%

10%

8%

12%

0%

Civils

0%

0%

0%

25%

39%

36%

0%

Railway systems works

0%

0%

0%

0%

16%

64%

19%

Design and management costs

37%

25%

8%

13%

17%

0%

0%

Civils

0%

0%

0%

44%

56%

0%

0%

Railway systems works

0%

0%

0%

0%

44%

56%

0%

Design and management costs

37%

25%

8%

10%

8%

12%

0%

Civils

0%

0%

0%

25%

39%

36%

0%

Railway systems works

0%

0%

0%

0%

16%

64%

19%

Design and management costs

37%

25%

8%

9%

11%

10%

0%

Civils

0%

0%

0%

15%

32%

41%

12%

Railway systems works

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

44%

56%

Railway systems works ML2a Liss

ML2 Liss Via Longmoor

ML4 Liphook

ML5 Alton

Table 8.2 – Cost Phasing This assumes approximately 3 years for detailed design, funding approval and TWA with 4-5 years to undertake the civil engineering and railway systems works. Therefore based on this assumption, the earliest which the station could open to passenger services would be 2018 for the Bentley alignment, with 2019 for Alton, Liss and Liphook.

8.3

Optimism Bias As per DfT Guidance optimism bias has been applied to the costs in the appraisal. Given that the costs are at GRIP 2 level of detail a level of optimism bias of 50% has been adopted for capital costs. As there is some overlap between the elements of uncertainty captured within contingency and those within optimism bias, the contingency has been removed from the capital estimates for appraisal purposes but reported here for comparison. Table 8.3 shows the totals used in the economic appraisal.

47


ML1 to Bentley (8.9km) £m

ML2 to Liss (10.7km) £m

ML2A to Liss (8.7km) £m

ML4 to Liphook (8.3km) £m

ML5 to Alton (10.7km) £m

Capital Costs Estimates

129.585

167.153

134.275

154.812

283.705

Costs Excluding Contingency

112.683

145.35

116.761

134.619

236.421

Costs Including Optimism Bias

169.024

218.025

175.141

201.928

354.631

Table 8.3 – Optimism Bias Adjustments Provisions for land ownership at this stage have been captured within the optimism bias figures. Further consideration will be given at GRIP3 to developing land costs associated with alignments which are progressed from GRIP2. At GRIP 4 which is the final option selection stage, the more detailed work related to land can be undertaken as this information will form a key part of the TWA application and the final alignment will be fully determined.

8.4

Financing Unless there is good reason to assume alternative financing we would expect the central case in the appraisal to assume Regulatory Asset Base (RAB) financing according to ORR's determination. The construction of the new connection would be funded by an increase in Network Rail’s RAB. This currently requires a rate of return of 4.7% on capital, with depreciation occurring over a 30 year period. In the economic appraisal, this implies a 30 year (declining, and concave) repayment schedule that must be discounted (as per the scheme benefits) at the standard 3.5%. In servicing capital, the rail industry could in theory capture the benefits to passengers of station improvements by raising fares. Network Rail could then extract this from the TOCs through increases in station or track access charges. In reality, rail fares are regulated, and there is no linkage between quality of service and the price paid by rail users. Moreover, if rail demand is highly responsive to fare levels (i.e. ‘price-elastic’), then the benefits of rail enhancements (in terms of revenue plus user benefits) are maximised if fares are left unchanged. However, the franchising process represents a ready mechanism for the DfT to capture generated fares’ revenue on infrastructure projects which are implemented outside of the current franchises. Thus, there is a substantial element of revenue ‘clawback’ which is in effect a transfer payment from the private sector to the public sector within the TEE table. This approach is fully consistent with DfT appraisal guidance and GRIP investment requirements.

8.5

Cost Estimates (LRT and BRT) The detailed work conducted examining the heavy rail alignments was also used to derive high level costs for the provision of LRT and BRT options. Table 8.4 shows the cost assumptions used for the assessment of LRT and BRT alternative options.

48


Option

Capital Cost (LRT)

Capital Cost (BRT)

Whitehill Bordon via Bentley (ML1)

£104.7M

£76.7M

Whitehill Bordon via Liss (ML2)

£94.1M

£79.5M

Whitehill Bordon via Liss via Longmoor (ML2a)

£117.2M

£94.9M

Whitehill Bordon via Liphook (ML4)

£136.5M

£87.9M

Whitehill Bordon via Alton (ML5)

£193.4M

£147.8M

Table 8.4 – LRT and BRT Operating Costs (2010 prices)

8.6

Operating Costs An operating cost model commensurate with GRIP2 was developed to estimate the incremental operating costs as a result of the additional services and extension for existing services to provide rail services to the new station. This model captured •

Capital and maintenance costs of additional rolling stock required;

Cost of additional driver hours to operate the trains;

Variable Track Access Charges (VTAC);

Electricity Costs (EC4T);

Electricity Asset Usage Charge; and

Station Access Charges.

Annual operating cost estimates in current prices are shown in Table 8.5. Option

Annual Operating Cost

Whitehill Bordon via Bentley (ML1)

£1.13 Million

Whitehill Bordon via Liss (ML2)

£1.13 Million

Whitehill Bordon via Liss via Longmoor (ML2a)

£1.20 Million

Whitehill Bordon via Alton (ML5)

£1.19 Million

Whitehill Bordon via Liphook (ML4)

£1.12 Million

Table 8.5 – Heavy Rail Operating Costs (2010 prices) At this stage it was assumed that for all options the incremental cost of operating the shuttle service would be approximately the same as operating through services. This assumption was made predominantly because without the MOIRA or performance model, it was not possible to model the impacts of any changes of service patterns on the existing network. Thus it would not be possible to accurately trade off changes in operating costs of potential through services with reliability 49


benefits and benefits/disbenefits across the wider rail network of changing stopping patterns. Tables 8.6 and 8.7 show the annual operating costs assumed as part of the LRT and BRT options tested. This is based upon units rates derived from currently implemented LRT schemes, and generic bus operating costs based upon the number of vehicles required to operate a half hourly frequency.

Option

Annual Operating Cost

Whitehill Bordon via Bentley (ML1)

£2.90 million

Whitehill Bordon via Liss (ML2)

£2.82 million

Whitehill Bordon via Liss via Longmoor (ML2a)

£3.4 million

Whitehill Bordon via Alton (ML5)

£3.5 million

Whitehill Bordon via Liphook (ML4)

£2.7 million

Table 8.6 - Light Rail Operating Costs Option

Annual Operating Cost

Whitehill Bordon via Bentley (ML1)

£203,000

Whitehill Bordon via Liss (ML2)

£203,000

Whitehill Bordon via Liss via Longmoor (ML2a)

£406,000

Whitehill Bordon via Alton (ML5)

£406,000

Whitehill Bordon via Liphook (ML4)

£203,000

Table 8.7 - BRT Operating Costs

50


9

Demand Forecasting This section provides the methodology and the outputs used for the demand forecasting for the options.

9.1

Demand Forecasting Methodology The approach to demand forecasting is based on experience from other rail station studies and the procedures that are set out in the PDFH – Passenger Demand Forecasting Handbook, and is based on available data and information for the local area and relating to the proposed Eco-town. In order to understand the current level of demand for rail journeys a detailed assessment of Census and London Area Travel Survey (LATS) was conducted for the study area. In summary Whitehill Bordon at present generates about 91,000 rail trips per annum (or 300 per day). These trips are using car or bus to access the rail stations at one of the local towns, namely Liss, Liphook, Alton or Aldershot. Over 80% of trips access the local station by car (driver or passenger) and 9% by bus. Some 60% of rail trips are for commuting purposes, and 15% for education with only 8% of trips are for leisure purposes. The Transport Strategy for the town estimates rail use at 18,000 trips per day, or 5.4m pa. This represents 50% of all external trips to and from the town. Overall 46% of trips will come from bus, with 28% from each of car driver and car passenger. This level of demand is high for a station in the local area and the size of town on the proposed size of Whitehill Bordon. The forecasting method is defined in two stages, as described below: •

Estimated passenger demand at the station using a forecasting model based on the size of the population catchment of the station and the cost (in terms of service time, frequency and direct / indirect service) to travel to key destinations by rail.

•

Assess the impacts of the forecast demand in terms of transfer from existing modes, including rail, change in travel time and costs, change in car travel distance and mileage on the highway network and change in public transport operator revenues. These breakdown results are required as an input to the economic appraisal of the scheme.

Following a review of the Transport Strategy, and given a number of concerns with the assumptions and projections of the rail station within the strategy, a more robust method of demand forecasts was developed using standard methods applied in the rail industry. The demand forecasting model is based on the relationship between the population within 2.0km of a station and the generalised journey time (GJT) to travel a destination. This is a standard size catchment area used in modelling and appraisal and provides a robust estimate of the population surrounding each station for use in the modelling. Although a boundary of 2.0km was used as the basis of the validation, it should be pointed out that this does not exclude trips which are outside of this boundary nor inbound trips. Taking a smaller or wider catchment would result in different 51


forecasts, however the impact of forecasts is small as the same rail demand data is used in each case. i.e. a smaller catchment and population generates higher trip rates, and the wider catchment generates lower trip rates. Based on analysis of existing rail demand for Whitehill Bordon and the local towns, the following destinations were defined, namely: •

London

Woking

Basingstoke

Aldershot

Guildford

Local area – representing other destinations.

Rail demand data for origin station in the models was taken from LENNON, and was checked to ORR (Office of Rail Regulator) statistics. The 2008/09 data was adjusted to a 2010 base for input to the model. The population of each catchment was taken from Census adjusted estimates for 2008. The GJT values have been checked to current timetables. The GJT is assumed to be same in the peak and off peak hours of the day. GJT = on train time + service frequency penalty + interchange penalty. Two forecast models were developed, based on trip destination. One model covered London and the other model the non-London destinations. The former has a much higher mode share of trips, and hence rail demand, for the same GJT. Non-London destinations are more attractive for car users as congestion and parking (spaces and fees) are less. The models use total rail demand data at existing stations, so forecast two-way demand to and from the town not just outbound trips. They also reflect inbound trips for people living outside of the town for all trip purposes. The two models are illustrated in Figures 9.1 and 9.2. The co-efficient and fit of each to the data is summarised in Table 9.1. Both models take the classic form of a power curve, with the level of demand decreasing as cost increases. The size of the origin and destination stations, in terms of population and employment, also influences the forecast of demand with the larger the town or city, the greater the rail demand.

52


Model 1: London 0.000070

y = 5.474x-2.8231 R2 = 0.6484

0.000060

Journeys / Pop x pop

0.000050

0.000040

0.000030

0.000020

0.000010

0.000000 0

50

100

150

200

250

GJT to London

Power (to London)

Figure 9.1: Demand Forecasting Model – London Destinations Model 2: Non-London 0.000160 0.000140

Journeys / Pop x pop

0.000120

y = 0.2715x-2.4608 R2 = 0.714

0.000100 0.000080 0.000060 0.000040 0.000020 0.000000 0

20

40

60

80

100

GJT Series1

Power (Series1)

Figure 9.2: Demand Forecasting Model – Non-London Destinations Model

Constant

Power Function

Fit of Model

London

5.47

-2.82

0.65

Non-London

0.27

-2.46

0.71

Table 9.1: Demand Forecasting Model – Co-Efficient and Fit Parameters

53

120


The model forecasts rail trips / origin population * destination employment (T), using the formula as below, with generalised journey time (GJT) as input: T = Constant * GJT ^ Power Function The constants show higher level of rail demand to London than for the non-London locations. Both models show a robustness of fit to observed data. The estimate of trips to other local destination is based on non-London rail trip rate per person, based on current rates in towns with a station, and the proportion of rail trips not going to one of the main destinations considered in the model. The rate assumed is 0.02 trips per person and 55% of trips are to other local destinations. In 2020, the estimate of other local trips is 45,000 trips, and in 2030 is estimated to 73,000 trips per day. The demand forecasts from the model have been uplifted by 13% to reflect the full range of longer distance destinations accessed by rail. The input data to the models is based on local data, and when checked to sources such as ORR statistics, reported an average shortfall of 13%.

9.2

Eco-town Assumptions For the Central Case, the population of the town is assumed to be 14,000 in 2010, rising to 19,000 by 2019 and 25,000 by 2030. These assumptions on future size and total trip demand for the town are based on the values in the “Whitehill Bordon Masterplan” published in June 2010. •

The town will increase in size from its current population of approximately 14,000 to in the region of 25,000 with the current stock of around 6,000 homes being supplemented by up to a maximum of 5,300;

Increased investment will lead to up to a further 5,500 jobs being created within the town;

A new secondary school and primary schools will be provided;

A designated town centre will be established with an improved retail offering; and

Walking and cycling facilities will be dramatically enhanced with a view to reducing the need to travel by private car.

Public transport links will be improved as follows and form the basis of the Do Minimum assumptions: •

A high frequency (every 10 to 15 minutes) circular bus service will be operated around the town that will link residential areas with the town’s key destinations;

A series of services will enhance Whitehill Bordon’s connections with the key local market towns of East Hampshire that include Alton, Liphook and Farnham. These services are likely to be a combination of demand responsive and conventional services that will operate every 20-30 minutes; and

Sub-regional services will connect Whitehill Bordon with key centres of commerce and retail, including the Blackwater Valley, Basingstoke and

54


Guildford. These will be limited stop services that operate every 20 to 30 minutes and will seek to provide an attractive alternative to the private car. The Transport Strategy recognises that the significant amount of planned development will give rise to greater demand for transport. It is anticipated that total demand for transport will be up to 80% more than currently exists. A key objective is to minimise the use of the private car by where possible containing trips within the town through appropriate planning measures, but also providing improved public transport links.

9.3

Demand Forecasts Table 9.2 shows the total demand for the different options in 2030 when the Eco-town is fully built out. This shows that the option generating the most demand is the through option via Bentley with approximately 1 million trips per annum with the worst performing option the shuttle service via Liss. Option

London

Other Destinations

Total

Whitehill Bordon to Bentley (ML1)

503,162

158,655

661,817

Whitehill Bordon to Liss (ML2)

252,603

131,824

384,427

Whitehill Bordon via Liss via Longmoor (ML2a)

237,755

127,586

365,341

Whitehill Bordon to Alton (ML5)

281,408

130,779

412,187

Whitehill Bordon to Liphook (ML4)

293,752

139,211

432,963

Whitehill Bordon via Bentley (ML1)

765,140

230,354

995,495

Whitehill Bordon via Liss (ML2)

349,204

162,813

512,017

Whitehill Bordon via Liss via Longmoor (ML2a)

326,320

154,922

481,242

Whitehill Bordon via Alton (ML5)

394,219

164,242

558,461

Whitehill Bordon via Liphook (ML4)

413,753

178,265

592,018

Shuttle

Through

Table 9.2- Demand Forecast for Each Option in 2030 – Heavy Rail Table 9.3 and Table 9.4 show the demand for the LRT and BRT options. These deliver less demand than the corresponding heavy rail shuttle services due to extended journey times due to slower vehicle speeds. Option

55

London

Other Destinations

Total


Option

London

Other Destinations

Total

Whitehill Bordon to Bentley (ML1)

322,791

104,017

426,808

Whitehill Bordon to Liss (ML2)

162,497

87,450

249,948

Liss via Longmoor Camp (ML2a)

150,498

84,154

234,651

Whitehill Bordon to Alton (ML5)

179,453

86,365

265,818

Whitehill Bordon to Liphook (ML4)

188,294

91,844

280,138

Table 9.3- Demand Forecast for Each Option in 2030 – Light Rail

Option

London

Other Destinations

Total

Whitehill Bordon to Bentley (ML1)

273,022

93,916

366,938

Whitehill Bordon to Liss (ML2)

141,261

81,702

222,963

Liss via Longmoor Camp (ML2a)

129,858

78,778

208,636

Whitehill Bordon to Alton (ML5)

154,640

80,477

235,117

Whitehill Bordon to Liphook (ML4)

162,506

84,962

247,468

Table 9.4 – Demand Forecast for Each Option in 2030 – BRT .

9.4

Parking Requirements Table 9.5 shows the parking requirements for the heavy rail options. These forecasts are based on the 25,000 maximum populations. The annual demand has been split into car driver daily demand assuming 300 days per year and 17% of rail trips are by car drivers (a further 6% are car passenger). These values are from the National Rail Travel Survey 2006. Option

Daily Demand

One-way Trips to the station

Trips by Car Driver needing to Park

Whitehill Bordon to Bentley (ML1)

2,203

1102

187

Whitehill Bordon to Liss (ML2)

1,280

640

109

Liss via Longmoor Camp (ML2a)

1,370

685

116

Whitehill Bordon to Alton (ML5)

1,443

722

123

Heavy Rail – Shuttle

56


Option

Daily Demand

One-way Trips to the station

Trips by Car Driver needing to Park

Whitehill Bordon to Liphook (ML4)

1,217

608

103

Whitehill Bordon to Bentley (ML1)

3,317

1658

282

Whitehill Bordon to Liss (ML2)

1,703

852

145

Liss via Longmoor Camp (ML2a)

1,860

930

158

Whitehill Bordon to Alton (ML5)

1,973

987

168

Whitehill Bordon to Liphook (ML4)

1,600

800

136

Heavy Rail – Through

Table 9.5 – Forecast Parking Requirements This shows that demand for car parking ranges from 282 to 103. This figure captures total daily car park entries thus some provision for car park churn would need to be taken into account. Therefore, a car park of around 250 spaces at Bentley would fully cater for demand for rail P&R trips.

9.5

Benchmarking The forecast of demand at proposed station are summarised below and compared to other local stations. The values in Table 9.6 are for 2010, so reflect current population and observed demands at other stations. The rail trip rate is less than other stations due to longer GJT to local centres and illustrates that the magnitude of demand modelled is realistic compared to other stations in the area.

Station

1.5km Population

Total Trips

Percentage London

Trips/ Population

Aldershot

29,100

1,441,000

34%

50

Liss

4,400

239,000

41%

54

Alton

13,700

651,000

51%

48

Liphook

8,900

522,000

43%

59

Whitehill Bordon

10,400

463,000

62%

44

Table 9.6 - Demand Comparison to Other Local Stations A population catchment of 1.5km was used for the benchmarking as opposed to 2km as identified the demand forecasting methodology as it enables a more consistent comparison across stations with varying population densities and different levels of parking provision.

57


10

Economic Appraisal

10.1

Introduction Any transport schemes which seek public funding should contain a section on value for money (VfM). This should •

Set out the estimated Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of the project

Assess whether it has any significant benefits or costs which cannot be put in money terms ("non-monetised impacts") and

On the basis of this analysis, describe the project as "poor", "low", "medium" or "high" value for money.

The DfT currently assess the value for money of a scheme •

‘Poor’ value for money if a scheme’s VfM BCR is less than 1.

‘Low’ value for money if a scheme’s VfM BCR is between 1 and 1.5.

‘Medium’ value for money if a scheme’s VfM BCR is between 1.5 and 2.

‘High’ value for money if a scheme’s VfM BCR is between 2 and 4.

‘Very High’ value for money if a scheme’s VfM BCR is greater than 4.

Value for money is only one of a number of key factors which will influence whether a proposal should be recommended for acceptance. However, given tight financial constraints, it is a very important consideration. The remainder of this section provides the assumptions and the BCR’s for the options considered in the study, and sensitivity tests to ascertain the variations of Value for Money around key assumptions.

10.2

Appraisal methodology General appraisal assumptions are consistent with those outlined in the DfT’s Transport Appraisal Guidance and NR GRIP Investment Regulations. In summary these are: •

60 year appraisal period;

2002 price and discounting base;

Discount rate of 3.5% for first 30 years, with 3.0% thereafter;

Unit of account is market prices and therefore any factor prices are uplifted by 20.9% which is the average rate of indirect taxation in the economy.

As per DfT guidance, the appraisal was conducted over a 60 period. Journey time benefits were derived from the outputs of the demand forecasts based upon modelled changes in GJT. Values of time are based on those contained in WebTAG which are £36.96 per hour for business rail user, £5.04 for commuter and £4.46 for leisure. The values of time have been grown throughout the appraisal 58


period in line real growth per capita in GDP, with an elasticity of 1 for business trips and 0.8 for leisure and commuter trips. The GJT benefits capture all elements of journey time including in vehicle time, waiting time and interchange penalty. Waiting time is valued as being two times the value of in-vehicle time plus there is an additional penalty for the need to interchange, hence the higher benefits of the through services due to the removed need to interchange and wait for connecting services. In terms of opening year, it has been assumed that the new station opens in 2031, consistent with the anticipated full build out of the Eco-town. This ensures consistency of approach across all options and ensures that the business case in not negatively influenced by slow demand build up by commencing the appraisal period before a suitable amount of demand has been generated by the Eco-town development. Sensitivity tests will also be conducted which show the impact of opening the station as soon as physically possible, which in transport planning terms would clearly be desirable. The capital and operating cost inputs into the appraisal are directly based upon those outlined in Chapter 8.

10.3

Revenue Fare revenue has been derived from the following sources. •

Ticket prices for full, reduced and season tickets from national rail enquiries;

Ticket type splits for full, reduced and season tickets for Alton, Bentley, Liss and Liphook from ORR station usage data; and

Modelled demand split by origin/destination to ascertain destination splits from potential link to the existing rail network (e.g. Liss and Liphook will have a greater proportion of trips to South Hampshire than Alton and Bentley due to a higher quality of rail links to this area).

The additional revenue has been based upon the incremental trips forecast as a result of the provision of a new station at Whitehill Bordon. It will therefore not include revenue generated in the Do Minimum where passengers generated as a result of the Eco town without a new station, will access existing rail stations via car or public transport switch to using the new station. In terms of future revenue growth, revenue has been assumed to grow at RPI+1% consistent with DfT Rail Demand Forecasting Guidance. Given the recent announcement that from January 2012, there will an RPI+3% increase for three years, this scenario has been presented in a sensitivity test.

10.4

Appraisal Indicators – Heavy Rail The key WebTAG value for money indicators are shown in Table 10.1. This shows the Present Value of Benefits (PVB), Present Value of Costs (PVC) and Benefit to Cost Ratio (BCR). Option Shuttle Services

59

PVB

PVC

BCR


Option

PVB

PVC

BCR

Whitehill Bordon via Bentley (ML1)

£29.3M

£50.8M

0.58

Whitehill Bordon via Liss (ML2)

£13.1M

£64.8M

0.20

Whitehill Bordon via Liss via Longmoor (ML2a)

£11.7M

£87.6M

0.13

Whitehill Bordon via Alton (ML5)

£18.1M

£152.5M

0.12

Whitehill Bordon via Liphook (ML4)

£16.9M

£78.9M

0.22

Whitehill Bordon via Bentley (ML1)

£61.4M

£28.7M

2.14

Whitehill Bordon via Liss (ML2)

£21.9M

£53.8M

0.41

Whitehill Bordon via Liss via Longmoor (ML2a)

£19.8M

£77.4M

0.26

Whitehill Bordon via Alton (ML5)

£31.7M

£142.0M

0.22

Whitehill Bordon via Liphook (ML4)

£29.9M

£67.1M

0.45

Bentley via Whitehill Bordon via Liphook

£61.9M

£140.7M

0.44

Bentley via Whitehill Bordon via Liss

£61.6M

£127.9M

0.48

Alton via Whitehill Bordon via Liphook

£32.2M

£268.9M

0.12

Alton via Whitehill Bordon via Liss

£32.1M

£269.9M

0.12

Through Services

Combined Options (Direct)

Table 10.1 – Key Economic Indicators (Heavy Rail Options) It should be noted that the PVB contains monetised journey time benefits to both users of transport system and non users through mode shift. The PVC captures costs, plus the additional revenue is netted off against this figure hence where schemes generate more benefits, the impact is to generate more revenue which in turn reduced the PVC. The figures show that from a value for money perspective, operating a through service via Bentley is the strongest case in Value for Money terms with a BCR of 2.14 and is the only option which could realistically achieve a positive business case going forwards as the remainder have costs that exceed the benefits, and in all others cases costs are at least double the benefits generated. The level of capital costs required to deliver a connection to Alton results in this having the worst value for money of all the options despite delivering the second highest time savings due to the 2 tph service operating all day. Although providing a connection to Liss is not as expensive as Alton, the journey times benefits are significantly less than other options due to the 1 tph interpeak 60


service and the majority of trips are towards the east the town, thus the location of the town makes accessing the other stations via an alternative mode such a car or bus a more attractive option. In appraisal terms, running direct services through Liphook is the second ranking scheme with a BCR of 0.45 which is some way off the current requirement of a BCR of 2 required to be classed a high value for money. This has both higher capital costs than Bentley plus does not deliver the same of time savings or revenue due to the lower service frequency interpeak. The shuttle services show a similar ranking although the best shuttle option which is to Bentley only has a BCR of 0.6 and is thus classed as poor value for money.

10.5

Appraisal Indicators – Light Rail Table 10.2 shows the appraisal indicators for LRT based upon the demand and cost assumptions. This shows that none of the proposed LRT schemes have a positive business case and should not be considered further. LRT

PVB

PVC

BCR

Whitehill Bordon via Bentley (ML1)

£15.7M

£80.2M

0.20

Whitehill Bordon via Liss (ML2)

£3.5M

£94.6M

0.04

Whitehill Bordon via Liss via Longmoor (ML2a)

£2.6M

£101.0M

0.03

Whitehill Bordon via Alton (ML5)

£10.5M

£187.0M

0.06

Whitehill Bordon via Liphook (ML4)

£6.9M

£105.8M

0.07

Table 10.2 – Key Economic Indicators (Light Rail Options) The additional costs of acquiring and running an independent fleet combined with the journey time impacts of slower journey time for people travelling from the centre of Whitehill Bordon to connect to the rail network is not outweighed by the additional benefits of being able to provide more stops on the network. Hence none of these schemes perform better than a heavy rail based shuttle service. Additionally any LRT scheme which includes elements of on-street running would also need to have highway modelling undertake to assess the impact of road space reallocation or LRT priority which would reduce the benefits further.

10.6

Appraisal Indicators – BRT Table 10.3 shows that none of the proposed BRT schemes have a positive business case and should not be considered further. BRT

PVB

PVC

BCR

Whitehill Bordon via Bentley (ML1)

£8.115

£34.621

0.23

Whitehill Bordon via Liss (ML2)

£3.434

£41.809

0.08

Whitehill Bordon via Liss via Longmoor (ML2a)

£3.057

£57.936

0.05

Whitehill Bordon via Alton (ML5)

£4.678

£92.391

0.05

61


BRT

PVB

PVC

BCR

Whitehill Bordon via Liphook (ML4)

£4.437

£47.665

0.09

Table 10.3 – Key Economic Indicators (BRT)

Although the lower capital and operating costs give BRT an advantage over a LRT from a value for money perspective, the level of additional demand generated due to the higher journey times and the modal constant is not sufficient to generate a positive business case on any of the proposed alignments.

10.7

Sensitivity Tests As the strongest value for money case was shown on the direct services via Bentley, sensitivity tests would be conducted around this BCR. These include: •

A reduced level of development with a level of development capped at 4,000 units in 2028;

A reduced level of development assuming 1,700 units are delivered by 2017 with no further development after this year;

A fares increase of RPI+3% between 2012 and 2015 as recently announced by the government.

Opening of the station at the earliest opportunity therefore the opening is driven by construction timescales. Based on funding approval, TWA timescales and construction, this has assumed to be in 2018.

Opening the station as early as possible with Wider Economic Benefits. Although this needs to be included as a sensitivity test based on current DfT guidance and therefore is not included in the central case, the committed development of the infrastructure at the outset would in effect provide a catalyst to develop the Ecotown which wouldn’t be fully captured without Wider Economic Benefits being included.

Provision of single track alignment to Bentley with passing loop. Preliminary estimates indicate this has the potential to cut 18% off the capital costs.

Table 10.4 shows the sensitivity tests. Each test is conducted in isolation, therefore the variations in PVB, PVC, BCR between the individual sensitivity tests and the central case, show only the impact of that sensitivity test. Option

PVB

PVC

BCR

Central Case

£61.397M

£28.715M

2.14

Reduced level of development of 4,000 units by 2031

£54.030M

£36.825M

1.47

62


Option

PVB

PVC

BCR

Reduced level of development of 1,700 units by 2019

£42.924M

£48.409M

0.89

Fares of RPI+3% from 2012 to 2015

£59.596M

£27.174M

2.19

Station opening in 2018 without Wider Economic Benefits

£71.013M

£52.803M

1.34

Station opening in 2018 with Wider Economic Benefits

£108.103M

£52.803M

2.05

Single Track Alignment

£61.397M

£13.397M

4.58

Table 10.4 – Sensitivity Tests on Bentley through Running Scenario This indicates that there are a number of both upside and downside risks to achieving a satisfactory level of value for money. The first tests shows that a reduction of number of units proposed would decrease the BCR from high value for money, to medium. As previously discussed, although current DfT appraisal guidance currently recommends using Wider Economic Benefits as a sensitivity test, the committed development of the infrastructure would in effect provide a catalyst to develop the Eco-town thus would be a significant benefit of providing the station at the outset of the development as opposed to basing the opening year on when maximum demand is reached. Therefore although assuming the station opens in 2018 would drop the BCR to 1.3 due to the lower benefits and revenue over the 60 year appraisal period, including the Wider Economic Benefits would increase the BCR to 2.0. One of the most sensitive elements from both an economic appraisal and affordability is the cost estimates. To ensure consistency across options, minimisation of performance impacts on the wider network, and consistency with the Mott Gifford Pre Feasibility study, double track extension to Whitehill Bordon was assumed in the capital cost estimation. Although any provision of single track line would have some performance impacts which have not been quantified reducing the economic benefits and revenue generated, this test indicates the potential for the BCR to rise above 4, thus providing significant scope for refinements of the capital and operational cost estimates at GRIP3 to deliver increases in value for money criteria of the scheme.

10.8

Summary The through service to Bentley is the only option which has a positive business case with a BCR of 2.14 which is significantly better that the next best through service via Liphook with a BCR of 0.45. None of the shuttle services achieve a BCR greater than 0.6 due to the disbenefits of interchanging, whilst none of the proposed LRT and BRT alternative options have a BCR exceeding 0.2 due to lower journey times than the shuttle, relatively high infrastructure costs in comparison to demand, and the costs associated with needing to acquire and run a bespoke fleet of vehicles in the case of LRT.

63


In terms of the sensitivity tests carried out on the Bentley option, there is both upside and downside risks. Should the level of development only be 4,000 units, the BCR would reduce to 1.5, dropping further to 0.9 should only 1,700 units be delivered. The test which examined lowering the capital costs to capture single track alignment, although not capturing the subsequent performance impacts, showed an increase in BCR of up to 4.5. This suggests that the further development of the engineering assessment at GRIP3 could provide some scope for cost reductions whilst still delivering the necessary infrastructure to achieve the transport and wider economic objectives.

64


11

Summary and Recommendations

11.1

Introduction This section provides an overview of the findings from the GRIP 2 level feasibility studies that have been reported above. It focuses on the specific tasks outlined at the start of this document, and draws conclusions relating to the issues arising from each of the technical tasks. The next section will raise some general points in relation to the broad routes considered and the specific modes relating to that. Following this will be a summary of the findings by line before drawing together the conclusions, and reviewing the fit of the preferred option with the transport objectives as set out in the Whitehill Bordon Emerging Transport Strategy.

11.2

General points

11.2.1

Light Rail vs Heavy Rail What is clear in the assessment is that the ability to “sweat� existing assets is a key driver in the potential success of new rail schemes. The heavy rail options developed link well with the onward services, and where there is potential for through running of existing services the financial case is strongly improved. The key determinant is not the provision of rolling stock per se however, but the fact that provision already exists for depot related facilities for such vehicles with the related capital cost saving, and economies of scale related to maintenance within a much wider vehicle fleet. It is in this area that the light rail options fall down. In general the overall capital costs are not dissimilar (some savings on route construction, but offset by the need to provide depot facilities) numbers of vehicles would typically be larger however due to lower running speeds and the lack of scale economies for providing spare vehicles during maintenance and vehicle failure. Operation of a depot site for a very small bespoke fleet is a real problem as well and these maintenance and fleet scale issues really count against the light rail options.

11.2.2

Analysis by Route Corridor Four broad corridors were considered. The North West links to either Bentley or Alton where rail services run north to London. This has the advantage of being on a branch line itself, and whilst that restricts southbound destinations it allows much more flexibility in terms of integrating any Whitehill Bordon services in the timetable. The Bentley options broadly follow the line of the old railway to Bordon and hence the topography lends itself to railway operation. The South West option links through the railway station at Liss. The route is around a kilometre longer than those to Bentley. At Liss trains run both north to London and south to the coast. Opportunities for through running from this line are restricted and the only sensible solution is to provide shuttle services in the peak periods. A key obstacle on this corridor is crossing the A3 dual carriageway.

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The South East corridor links in at Liphook. Again on the London – Portsmouth mainline. The route is the shortest of the corridors considered at around 7km, as with the South West corridor the key engineering obstacle is crossing the A3 dual carriageway. The North East corridor links to Bentley and Farnham. This is by far the longest route at around twice the length of the options to Liphook. The advantage is linking into the current major town of the area at Farnham, and from there rail services to London.

11.3

Route Option Summary This section summarises the key findings of the options within the technical categories discussed above: •

Strategic fit;

Operational assessment;

Engineering assessment;

Environmental assessment; and,

Economic assessment.

11.3.1

ML1 – Whitehill Bordon to Bentley – Heavy Rail

11.3.1.1

Strategic Fit The provision of mass transit whether it’s heavy or light rail based fits well with the overall strategy and objectives for the Eco-town. Focussing on trips outside of the immediate vicinity of Whitehill Bordon, such linkages allow residents and visitors to have choices for sustainable travel beyond the realms of the town itself, and should ensure residents in particular actively seek non-car alternatives through such education. The ability for the option to link to rail services far beyond the region is considered important, though we need to ensure there is a balance with making out commuting too attractive and the potential to make Whitehill Bordon a commuter town in general.

11.3.1.2

Operational Assessment There are a number of alternative operational options for this service. A shuttle service would be the simplest to operate, with services scheduled to meet the AltonWaterloo trains. Through running options either through splitting trains north of Bentley (a number of alternatives possible) or by alternating through services with Alton on the half hour. The key message though is that the ability to run through trains increases rolling stock efficiency and hence the business case. Assessments thus far indicate this could be a possibility, but detailed timetabling assessment would be required at the next stage to confirm this view.

11.3.1.3

Engineering Assessment None of the options considered present insurmountable engineering constraints. Each requires a number of general considerations whether this is a grade separated crossing of major highways, or significant costs associated with avoidance of 66


environmentally sensitive areas (tunnelling). Of all the routes ML1 presents the least obstacles aided by broadly following historic rail alignment. The estimated capital cost of the scheme - £129.6m at Q4 2010 11.3.1.4

Environmental Assessment This option passes through the SDNP. Impact on landscape and visual intrusion will be required at the detailed assessment stage. The route passes near, but not through a number of SSSI’s and SAC’s, and potential impacts on them of the route would need to be considered.

11.3.1.5

Economic Assessment Positive business case for direct service with high BCR of 2.14 but shuttle service shows poor VfM with BCR of 0.58

11.3.2

LR1 – Whitehill Bordon to Bentley – Light Rail

11.3.2.1

Strategic Fit See ML1

11.3.2.2

Operational Assessment There are no light rail conflicts of operation with the existing heavy rail service. However, operating a relatively short and low density system in isolation of a wider network will give inefficient operation of rolling stock, and of stock maintenance. These issues will play against light rail in the overall analysis.

11.3.2.3

Engineering Assessment None of the options considered present insurmountable engineering constraints. Each requires a number of general considerations whether this is a grade separated crossing of major highways, or significant costs associated with avoidance of environmentally sensitive areas (tunnelling). Of all the routes ML1 presents the least obstacles aided by broadly following historic rail alignment. Route Length – 9.1km The estimated capital cost of the scheme circa - £120m at Q4 2010

11.3.2.4

Environmental Assessment This option passes through the SDNP. Impact on landscape and visual intrusion will be required at the detailed assessment stage. The route passes near, but not through a number of SSSI’s and SAC’s, and potential impacts on them of the route would need to be considered.

11.3.2.5

Economic Assessment Poor VfM with BCR of 0.2

11.3.3

LR4 – Whitehill Bordon to Alton – Light Rail

11.3.3.1

Strategic Fit See ML1

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11.3.3.2

Operational Assessment See LR1

11.3.3.3

Engineering Assessment See ML1. Estimate Capex circa £200M at Q4 2010

11.3.3.4

Environmental Assessment The route passes along the northern boundary of Binswood Common, with associated access issues that would need to be accounted for in design. It also passes through a SAC and two SSSI’s. Finally the route runs through the SDNP.

11.3.3.5

Economic Assessment Poor VfM with BCR of 0.06

11.3.4

ML5 – Whitehill Bordon to Alton – Heavy Rail

11.3.4.1

Strategic Fit See ML1

11.3.4.2

Operational Assessment There are a number of alternative operational options for this service. A shuttle service would be the simplest to operate, with services scheduled to meet the AltonWaterloo trains. Through running services between Alton and Whitehill Bordon would increase stock efficiency significantly. The key message though is that the ability to run through trains increases rolling stock efficiency and hence the business case. Assessments thus far indicate this could be a possibility, but detailed timetabling assessment would be required at the next stage to confirm this view.

11.3.4.3

Engineering Assessment None of the options considered present insurmountable engineering constraints. Each requires a number of general considerations whether this is a grade separated crossing of major highways, or significant costs associated with avoidance of environmentally sensitive areas (tunnelling). Of all the routes ML5 presents arguably the most significant obstacle. The need to avoid SSSI, has been engineered with tunnelling through undulating topography. This in itself adds significantly to the capital costs of the scheme. Route Length – 10.7km The estimated capital cost of the scheme - £283.7m at Q4 2010

11.3.4.4

Environmental Assessment The route passes along the southern boundary of Shorheath Common with associated access issues that need to be accommodated in scheme design. The route has direct land take requirements from a number of European and Nationally designated sites – a number of SSSI’s and SAC’s. Finally the route runs through the SDNP.

11.3.4.5

Economic Assessment Poor VfM for both through and shuttle services with BCR’s of 0.22 and 0.12 respectively. 68


11.3.5

LR6 / 6a – Whitehill Bordon to Farnham – Light Rail

11.3.5.1

Strategic Fit See ML1

11.3.5.2

Operational Assessment See LR1

11.3.5.3

Engineering Assessment None of the options considered present insurmountable engineering constraints. Each requires a number of general considerations whether this is a grade separated crossing of major highways, or significant costs associated with avoidance of environmentally sensitive areas (tunnelling). Of all the routes LR6 is by far the longest, and although specific obstacles are not an issue, the length of the route increases the capital cost estimates significantly. The estimate capital cost of the scheme - £200m at Q4 2010

11.3.5.4

Environmental Assessment This route passes through the largest number of environmental designated, and planning sites – through or adjacent to 7 in total. Access issues need to be considered to Broxhead Common, SSSI’s a Phase II SPA. It also affects a scheduled monument at Alice Holt Forest. Finally the route runs through the SDNP.

11.3.5.5

Economic Assessment Poor VfM with BCR of less than 0.1.

11.3.6

LR3 – Whitehill Bordon to Liphook – Light Rail

11.3.6.1

Strategic Fit See ML1

11.3.6.2

Operational Assessment See LR1

11.3.6.3

Engineering Assessment None of the options considered present insurmountable engineering constraints. Each requires a number of general considerations whether this is a grade separated crossing of major highways, or significant costs associated with avoidance of environmentally sensitive areas (tunnelling). LR3 has only minor issues in the main. The exception is the need to raise the alignment to allow for crossing of the A3. This is the shortest route considered. The estimated capital cost of the scheme - circa £160m at Q4 2010

11.3.6.4

Environmental Assessment Similarly with LR6, this route passes through seven areas with statutory designations, having direct land take impacts on a number of SSSi’s, SAC and SPA. It presents potential access issues to two areas of Common Land. There is no impact on scheduled monuments. Finally the route runs through the SDNP.

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11.3.6.5

Economic Assessment Poor VfM with BCR of 0.07.

11.3.7

ML4 – Whitehill Bordon to Liphook Heavy Rail

11.3.7.1

Strategic Fit See ML1

11.3.7.2

Operational Assessment There are fewer, if any, realistic opportunities for running through trains between Whitehill Bordon and the wider rail network via Liss or Liphook. The practical solution would be a 2tph shuttle service timed to link with the Portsmouth-London trains in the peaks, with potential through services off peak on the hour, though it is doubtful the case for additional tie-in infrastructure at either Liss or Liphook stations would be strong based on off-peak operation only. The advantages of this option over those on the Alton line are the potential linkages to the south coast, but the operational flexibility of this line is not as great as the Alton branch given the intensity of existing usage.

11.3.7.3

Engineering Assessment None of the options considered present insurmountable engineering constraints. Each requires a number of general considerations whether this is a grade separated crossing of major highways, or significant costs associated with avoidance of environmentally sensitive areas (tunnelling). ML4 has only minor issues in the main. The exception is the need to raise the alignment to allow for crossing of the A3. Route Length – 8.2km The estimated capital cost of the scheme – circa £154.8m at Q4 2010

11.3.7.4

Environmental Assessment Similarly with LR6, this route passes through seven areas with statutory designations, having direct land take impacts on a number of SSSi’s, SAC and SPA. It presents potential access issues to two areas of Common Land. There is no impact on scheduled monuments. Finally the route runs through the SDNP.

11.3.7.5

Economic Assessment Poor VfM for both through and shuttle services with BCR’s of 0.45 and 0.22 respectively.

11.3.8

LR2 / 2a – Whitehill Bordon to Liss – Light Rail

11.3.8.1

Strategic Fit See ML1

11.3.8.2

Operational Assessment See LR1

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11.3.8.3

Engineering Assessment None of the options considered present insurmountable engineering constraints. Each requires a number of general considerations whether this is a grade separated crossing of major highways, or significant costs associated with avoidance of environmentally sensitive areas (tunnelling). LR2 has only minor issues in the main. The exception is the need to raise the alignment to allow for crossing of the A3. The estimate capital cost of the scheme – circa £136m at Q4 2010

11.3.8.4

Environmental Assessment This option would require direct landtake from European and Nationally designated sites. It passes through or adjacent to SSSI’s, SAC and SPA, as well as adjacent to scheduled monument areas on Longmore Common. LR2 affects the Railway walk along the old rail alignment. Finally the route runs through the SDNP. LR2a is a slight variation on LR2 it is adjacent to areas of village green, but avoids the southern area of Wealds Heath SPA, and therefore has less landtake in designated areas.

11.3.8.5

Economic Assessment Poor VfM with BCR of 0.04.

11.3.9

ML2 / 2a – Whitehill Bordon to Liss – Heavy Rail

11.3.9.1

Strategic Fit See ML1

11.3.9.2

Operational Assessment See ML4

11.3.9.3

Engineering Assessment None of the options considered present insurmountable engineering constraints. Each requires a number of general considerations whether this is a grade separated crossing of major highways, or significant costs associated with avoidance of environmentally sensitive areas (tunnelling). ML2 has only minor issues in the main. The exception is the need to raise the alignment to allow for crossing of the A3. This is the shortest route considered. Route Length – 10.7/8.7km The estimated capital cost of the scheme - £167.2m / £134.3m at Q4 2010

11.3.9.4

Environmental Assessment This option would require direct landtake from European and Nationally designated sites. It passes through or adjacent to SSSI’s, SAC and SPA, as well as adjacent to scheduled monument areas on Longmore Common. ML2 affects the Railway walk along the old rail alignment. Finally the route runs through the SDNP. ML2a is a slight variation on ML2 it is adjacent to areas of village green, but avoids the southern area of Wealds Heath SPA, and therefore has less landtake in designated areas.

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11.3.9.5

Economic Assessment Poor VfM for both through and shuttle services with BCR’s of 0.20 and 0.41 respectively.

11.4

Preferred Scheme On balance of the issues raised, the preferred option at this stage is the heavy rail route to Bentley ML1. This provides the least environmental impact, the best economic and financial case, presents engineering and operational issues that are deliverable and are either the cheapest, or commensurate with the other options. The strength of the economic case suggests the option should be explored further. Future option development should focus on the potential environmental impacts of passing through the SDNP, confirming the engineering costs, and developing / optimising the operational case more robustly.

11.5

Check with Transport Strategy Objectives. Finally it is worth reflecting on how the Whitehill Bordon-Bentley (ML1) heavy rail option fits with the objectives for transport as set out in the transport strategy documents and referred to at the start of the report. The table below re-visits the specific objectives and provides some commentary and high level assessment of the level of fit. Objective Manage Transport Demand

Use of Existing Assets

Support Sustainable Economic Regeneration

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Description ML1 carries over 1mill passengers per annum with through running services. Much of this will be transferred from bus – impact on highway will be small overall.

Score +3 / -3 +1

Whilst the route uses the historic line over much of it’s length, its dubious to suggest this is really an existing asset. However the ability of the service to increase efficiency of use of existing rolling stock is a strong element in the case.

+2

Case study analysis has shown that rail linkages can play a strong part in economic regeneration per se. They are not sufficient drivers of growth in their own right however, and need wider economic support to fulfil the potential.

+2


Objective Improve the Environment by reducing congestion and pollution

Enable sustainable movement – alternatives to the car

Balance the need to travel against protecting the environment

Reduce journey length and the need to travel outside of the town

Notes +3 large positive -3 large negative 0 neutral

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Description

Score +3 / -3

As suggested above, mode shift from car is not expected to be significant. But this area is still positive.

+1

The provision of public transport based alternatives to the car for all trip types is seen as an important factor in providing strong linkages to the wider rail network, and thus the ability of Bordon residents to consistently use PT instead of the car.

+1

This option has been shown to have limited exposure to environmentally sensitive areas. The whole area is based within SDNP however, and we need to be conscious of this in the next stage of development.

0

The concern here is that provision of direct rail services to London can lead to the development of Bordon as another London commuter town. That concern needs to be balanced with the ability to offer a range of sustainable travel options across journey types (within and out with) the area. We consider this option strikes that balance.

0

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