From a recent report by East Renfrewshire Council:-
A proposed new purpose built rail station and bus interchange at Barrhead South (on the Glasgow to Neilston line) will provide improved access to jobs and services for the existing community of Auchenback and the new residents from the surrounding planned housing developments some of which are already under construction. The station will offer excellent commuter links and provide a direct public transport link to the country park.
Considerable work has been undertaken to move this project forward. In particular this has involved preparing and submitting a revised Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG), working with Transport Scotland, SPT and Network Rail. Approval of the STAG lies with Transport Scotland and is required prior to moving into the Governance for Rail Investment Projects (GRIP) stages. The project is now in the second stage of the STAG process which should be complete in the next six months. This project has been delayed because Transport Scotland were not able to respond to our STAG1 submission as all of their available staff were working on issues relating to the pandemic. This has put pressure on the programme and the budget. Now that Transport Scotland are more able to engage steady progress should be made with a proposed start on site late 2023 with completion in 2025.
The revised cost of delivering the new station is currently estimated at £18 million as opposed to the remaining provision of £8.786 million within the Council’s General Fund Capital Programme. This cost is based upon a construction start in 2023.
The costs for the station have increased for several reasons. Following the original estimated budget (2015) there have been necessary changes to the scope of the project. These include;
o Improved accessibility legal requirements now necessitate the need for lifts and an overhead bridge to ensure that the station is Disability Discrimination Act compliant. This was not part of the original scope.
o Constraints to the contractor’s working methods as Scottish Water’s Amlaird pipeline is located on the periphery of the site now identified as the most suitable location for the new station this was not identified when the original costs were prepared.
o Ground condition issues have changed with spoil from surrounding works having been put on the site requiring the levels to be reduced significantly and the need for a more onerous surface water removal system (SUDS).
o Recent similar projects for Network Rail have had to include for works to overhead lines and signalling and no allowance was made for these works when the original budget was set.
o The original budget estimated budget was set with a construction contract start date of August 2018.
However, due to Transport Scotland’s approval of the STAG report, the revised start date for construction of the station is now October 2023. The BCIS shows an anticipated increase in tender prices for inflation of 20% from 2018 to 2023.
Since the inception of the City Deal Programme a new rail station at Robroyston has been built on the Queen St station to Cumbernauld line. This was completed in 2019 at a cost of £14M.
This revised budget of £18M for the new rail station at Barrhead South has been benchmarked against Robroyston Station.
It is proposed therefore that provision of £18 million from the remaining City Deal resources be made for this scheme.