Rail (UK)

Why rail is best placed to ‘level up’ the coun­try

- Business · Transportation · Industries · Railway Industry Association · Railways

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.

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