Media Release: Galashiels interchange – rail campaigners welcome Council move

THE Campaign for Borders Rail (CBR) has welcomed news that Scottish Borders Council (SBC) has moved to reduce the length of time bus and rail travellers will have to wait to cross the A7 Ladhope Vale Inner Relief Road where it passes between the key rail and bus station components of the new Galashiels public transport interchange [1].

Begins a spokesperson: “Previously, SBC had advised CBR that, in order not to delay motorists, it was envisaged that passengers interchanging between bus and train would have to wait for up to 90 seconds for the ‘green man’ phase [2], well beyond the maximum delay of 30 seconds recommended in national guidelines [3].

“Now, in its 17th December letter to CBR, the transport agency, Transport Scotland, has advised [4] that SBC ‘have confirmed that when installed, the pedestrian crossing at Ladhope Vale will operate on the same timing as others on the Inner Relief Road. At present there are 30 seconds between pedestrian green phases if required’.”

CBR chair, Simon Walton, commented:

“This is a modest but important victory for CBR, which will help to make the key interchange between bus and train at Gala seamless and much safer.

“We were worried that a passenger wait of up to 90 seconds for the ‘green man’ would undermine the performance of the new interchange, and might encourage dangerous crossings of the road by pedestrians during the long wait phase.

“It’s encouraging that SBC has seen sense on this issue, and we’re delighted to chalk up another campaigning success in our ongoing efforts to ensure that we get the best possible Borders Railway by 2015.” [5]


Simon Walton, CBR chair, on 01578 760686 / 07540 313018 or


[1] The Galashiels public transport interchange will incorporate a rebuilt bus station immediately opposite the new railway station on Ladhope Vale. Bus services from across the Borders will provide easy interchange to the half-hourly frequency train service to Midlothian and Edinburgh which will operate for most of the day on Mondays to Saturdays.

[2] Email correspondence with SBC (Ewan Doyle, Project Management Team Leader) suggested initially (19 July 2012) that the crossing delay would be similar to other crossings on the Inner Relief Road and that “the traffic will have up to 4mins of flow before pedestrians can cross again” and subsequently (29 October 2013) that traffic is “limited to a 60-90 second minimum delay between pedestrian phases to allow traffic build up to dissipate”. CBR subsequently wrote to Transport Scotland on 15 November 2013 to raise its concerns over the lengthy delay proposed.

[3] The two key pieces of relevant Government guidance from the Department for Transport are:

Traffic Advisory Limit 5/05 Pedestrian Facilities at Signal – Controlled Junctions (http://www. uk Key quote (page 24): “Maximum timings [for vehicle green light] over 30 seconds at mid block crossings should be avoided to minimise pedestrian delay… It should be noted that the use of unnecessarily long fixed timings to protect pedestrians can increase accident risk by creating confusion.”

Puffin Crossings- Good Practice Guide, 2006 uk /publications/puffin-good-practice/puffin-goodpractice-guide.pdf Key quote: “Pedestrians are more likely to disregard the red man signal if they consider the distance they have to walk, or the time they have to wait, unreasonable.”

[4] Transport Scotland’s letter of 17 December 2013 (from Sarah Cooper, assistant project sponsor) to CBR states that:

“This is a matter for Scottish Borders Council as the local roads authority. However, they have confirmed that when installed, the pedestrian crossings at Ladhope Vale will operate on the same timing as others on the Inner Relief Road. At present there are 30 seconds between pedestrian green phases if required, and unlikely to change much in 2015. However, as traffic and pedestrian flows change over the next 30 years due to other factors (sustainable transport uptake, fuel costs etc) the sequencing of the signalised controls in Galashiels may be reviewed.”

[5] The Campaign for Borders Rail (CBR), launched in 1999, is one of Britain’s most successful grassroots rail campaigns. CBR’s key aim was realised on 6th November 2012 when the Scottish Government’s Transport Minister, Keith Brown, announced that Transport Scotland and Network Rail had concluded a deal to construct the new Borders Railway – bringing trains back in 2015 after an absence of more than 45 years. CBR lobbying was also crucial to securing key enhancements to the original official railway specification – namely (i) inclusion of a station at Stow, and (ii) redesign of Tweedbank station to accommodate long tourist charter trains, bringing in visitors from across Britain. See

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Contact: Simon Walton
Phone: 01578760686