£36bn contribution to the economy
Dave Tilmouth on 27 February 2018 17:00:59
Unipart Rail has been part of new economic research from Oxford Economics, published by the Railway Industry Association (RIA), which has shown that the economic value of the UK rail network is significantly higher than previously thought.
New figures show that the UK’s rail system:
Contributes over £36bn annually to the UK economy,
Provides around 600,000 jobs
Generates £11bn annually in tax revenue.
Employs more people than the entire workforce of Birmingham;
Has a greater economic impact than the food, drink and tobacco manufacturing and the chemical and pharmaceutical industries;
Has the strongest presence in London, the East Midlands and North East;
Generates £2.20 of income from every £1 spent on the network;
For every job in the UK railway system, there are a further 2 jobs created in the supply sector.
Noel Travers, Unipart Rail's MD said "We welcome the publication of this report- at last we have data which captures the real contribution and importance of the of the rail sector to the UK economy. You only have to look at our own supply chain - around 1500 suppliers where 90% of our spend is with those in the UK and who are mostly manufacturing businesses, 30% of which are SMEs spread across the country - to see how the supply chain does indeed support jobs beyond the front line."
The Government is currently using figures that show the UK rail sector employs 240,000 and has an economic value of rail at £10.4bn – however, these figures only refer to the supply sector and do not take into account the wider rail network, including metro services and catering and retail at stations.
Instead, rail related industries (not including induced impacts) – altogether equating £27.9bn - provide around the same economic growth as the food, drinks and tobacco industries (£27.6bn) and are bigger than the arts and entertainment industry (£25.8bn), the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry (£24.9bn) and the civil engineering industry (£23bn).
The research also shows the value of rail broken down by region, revealing that the top regions for the economic contribution of rail are London (£10.7m), the North West (£3.6m) and Yorkshire and the Humber (£2.5m).