Achieving outstanding outcomes through third-party rail schemes What We Do

Welborne railway station

Supporting Fareham Borough Council with the Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) for a new station to serve the planned Welborne Garden Village development.

Project Overview

Immediately west of the planned Welborne Garden Village lies the Eastleigh to Fareham railway line, offering a potential opportunity to build a new railway station to serve the development with 6,000 new homes. The planning permissions for the development were granted without an explicit requirement to construct a new railway station (the transport plan for the site being built around a dedicated express bus into Fareham town to serve Fareham railway station). However, the Section 106 agreement included a clause that protected the land reserved for a possible railway station and that this land be protected for the earlier of 25 years or five years after the completion of the development. A 2017 pre-feasibility study by Network Rail had reviewed potential locations for a new station.
The business case for the railway station had not been investigated and consequently in 2022, Fareham Borough Council commissioned SLC Rail to produce the Strategic Outline Business Case.

What we did

SLC adopted the conventional 5-case model to review the Strategic, Economic, Financial, Commercial and Management cases for delivering a new station. This project showcased the breadth of SLC’s capabilities and involved collaboration both within SLC’s teams and between SLC and our supply chain to deliver a well-evidenced and pragmatic SOBC document. The work defined a clear pathway for Fareham Borough Council to develop the scheme and its business case further.

Our Strategy team assessed the strategic fit for the new station and developed the Case for Change. As part of this, we considered the local transport network, policies, plans and existing transport commitments for the new development. As part of the process, we consulted with local authorities and agencies, the train operator South Western Railway and Network Rail.

Our Engineering team undertook a feasibility study to review the infrastructure interventions required to accommodate the new station, and build up a cost estimate to support the economic case and Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) calculations. One particular challenge on this project was the requirement to future-proof the station for a potential doubling of the line, an aspirational project that was unfunded at the time of this SOBC work. The Engineering team reviewed and assessed multiple solutions, and a preferred option was identified.

Working with our supply chain partners, economic and demand appraisals were undertaken using NRTS and MOIRA data to determine the BCR for the new station, including performing various sensitivity tests. Our Investments team reviewed the opportunities and constraints associated with the funding case, making a key recommendation to investigate opportunities to utilise Land Value Capture (LVC) to help fund the delivery of the new station.

Finally, our Commercial team made several recommendations in relation to the management case, building on our expertise of delivering third party railway schemes. A key finding from our work was that the economic case improves significantly if the station delivery is better aligned to wider regional strategic transport initiatives and to the Welborne development build-out timeline. Therefore, our professional recommendation to Fareham Borough Council was to hold off further investment in the next stages of the business case until a later date.

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