A new economic report published by independent researchers Oxford Economics shows a UK railway industry powering ahead before the pandemic struck last year.
The report, commissioned by the Railway Industry Association (RIA), shows UK rail as a major economic sector, driving growth, investment and jobs right across the UK. With the Government now looking for sectors which can help the country bounce back better, it further highlights how the sector can lead the economic recovery post-Covid.
Oxford Economics found that in 2019, the latest point where economic data is available, the rail industry supported:
- £43 billion GVA in economic growth, compared to £36.4 billion in 2016;
- 710,000 jobs, compared to 600,000 in 2016;
- £14 billion in tax revenue each year, compared to £11 billion in 2016; and
- For every £1 spent in rail, £2.50 of income was generated in the wider economy, compared to £2.20 in 2016.
The report also looks at future scenarios for rail investment, based on National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) research. For example, using the NIC scenarios, the report shows that if rail investment is increased by 50%, the rail sector would contribute to the economy an additional £5.6 billion per year between 2025 and 2029, with an extra 104,000 individuals employed in the industry as a result.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “This new research by Oxford Economics reveals that, pre pandemic, the railway industry was growing, and supporting even more jobs and GVA than just a few years earlier. In 2016, every pound spent in rail generated £2.20 of spending in the wider economy, yet by 2019 this had risen to £2.50. This shows that rail is not just an important sector in its own right, but is also crucial for UK plc more widely, its economy and connectivity.
“As the Government seeks to build back better – with a growing economy, which levels-up, is green, and which helps promote Global Britain – it should look no further than the UK railway industry. This report by Oxford Economics shows a bourgeoning rail sector before the pandemic and how rail can provide more economic growth in the future. As passengers now return to the network we should be optimistic about rail’s ability to help with the recovery. With the right Government policy and support, UK rail can continue to be the economic powerhouse the UK will need in the months and years to come.”
To read the report, click HERE