Rail franchises operators & contracts

27.02.18

RIA: Government underestimating UK rail value by whopping £25bn

The government could be underestimating the value of the rail industry in Britain by £25bn, figures released today by the Rail Industry Association (RIA) indicate.

In total, the industry generates around £36bn for the UK annually – more than food, drink and tobacco manufacturing, and more than the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

Studies completed by Oxford Economics and published by the RIA show that the rail sector is also responsible for providing 600,000 jobs and generating £11bn in tax revenue.

RIA officials argue figures from the government underestimate the number of people employed by more than 300,000 and list the industry value as £10.4bn, significantly less than the total put forward by the organisation.

Its chief executive, Darren Caplan, commented: “The implications of this report are clear. The UK rail system should not be seen just as a vital mode of travel – connecting businesses, friends and family, and visitors to the UK – but also as a key industry for the economy in its own right.

“We urge the government to consider and use the findings of this report when developing its Industrial Strategy agenda, negotiating trade deals with other countries once we have left the EU, and when promoting our world-class exports offering overseas generally.”

Other organisations in the rail industry have welcomed the report as proof that the government needs to look more closely at supporting rail.

Stephen Joseph, Campaign for Better Transport’s chief executive, explained: “Rail is a low-carbon and highly-skilled industry.

“This new research highlights just how big a contribution it makes to the economy. There is a very strong case for the government to build on this strength with a long-term investment strategy, including support for electrification, to promote rail as a pillar of the UK economy.”

The report itself was completed between the RIA, Oxford Economics and 10 other rail sector partners. It is likely to be released soon through the RIA’s website.

Top image: Network Rail

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Comments

Lutz   27/02/2018 at 13:52

Where this analysis falls down is that the industry's economy is largely subsidised through tax revenues and so does not stand on a par with the other industries quoted above. Eliminate costs and provide a service without Government subsidy before making such a claim.

Davjd   27/02/2018 at 18:34

Yes, and? Government subsidies approximately cover the operating profits and break-out payments for private train operators.

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