Job opportunities, higher wages and huge time savings are among the principal social and economic benefits that the rail industry can deliver for Britain, according to a new report commissioned by the Railway Industry Association (RIA).
Published by Oxford Economics on November 2, The economic, environmental, and social opportunities that rail brings to the UK determines that increased use of rail brings benefits for the economy by improving productivity and labour market outcomes.
It also states that reduced congestion, resulting from the use of public transport, generates around £1.4 billion in time-saving benefits every year for commuters in six of the UK’s largest cities.
Additionally, it says that cutting journey times between cities such as Manchester and Leeds by 20 minutes could increase wages by approximately £600 per worker per year, while a 10% reduction in regional journey times could support between 1,950 and 12,600 jobs depending on the area. It notes that 5,900 of those opportunities could be in Scotland.
The report also highlights how the benefits of building new railway lines reach beyond just those who use them, by freeing up capacity on existing networks to bring “secondary” benefits to passengers who do not use the new lines.
Introducing the report, RIA Chief Executive Darren Caplan said previous research carried out by Oxford Economics on the economic contribution of rail showed that in 2019, the railway industry supported £43 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) in economic growth, 710,000 jobs, and £14bn in tax revenue. Furthermore, for every £1 spent on rail, £2.50 of income is generated in the wider economy.
He concluded that the industry must take the “post-pandemic opportunity to invest in what is a key sector.”
To read the full story, see RAIL 970
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