Why rail is best placed to ‘level up’ the country
Industry leaders continue to lobby the Government on why investing in rail represents the optimal way to achieving its strategic ‘levelling up’ agenda, to more equally spread economic growth across the country.
With the spending review and the National Infrastructure Strategy committing government to increasing capital investment across a range of areas, including energy and the wider transport sector, there are strong reasons for why rail should be prioritised.
For instance, the Railway Industry Association estimates an economic impact of £2.20 in value being delivered for every £1 spent.
Meanwhile, new research from the National Skills Academy for Rail points to added value from rail investment and jobs creation that has never been properly captured before (see Comment).
NSAR Chief Executive Neil Robertson told RAIL: “Let’s face it, railways in the next ten years are not going to be just for passengers, they’re going to be job creation schemes, job retention schemes.
“That’s what they’re going to be measured on. That’s the bit we’ve been failing on in the past - instead of creating jobs we’ve been creating wage inflation and migration. But now we’re going to do it properly.”
■ Neil Robertson will be writing a full analysis on the latest NSAR research, and what it means for the rail industry, in the next issue of RAIL.