Rail’s £670m contribution to Scotland’s economy

Alongside the national economic benefits, rail passengers and freight customers gain up to £1 billion in user benefits from the railway in Scotland.

The study also estimates that the industry supports almost 13,000 jobs either directly or through the supply chain, and prevents up to 89 fatal and serious accidents by reducing traffic on Scotland’s road network.

Research by Oxera Consulting for the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) – which represents train operators and Network Rail – and Transport Scotland highlights rail’s economic, social and environmental benefits, quantifying the impact of the whole industry for the first time.

Specific benefits identified through the research include:

  • £668m Gross Value Added (GVA) contribution to Scottish economy;
  • User benefits of up to £1 billion per year;
  • 12,800 jobs supported;
  • £292m - tax paid by the rail sector to Scotland’s public purse;
  • £30m - the value of cuts in harmful greenhouse gas emissions a year;
  • 89 deaths and serious injuries prevented a year by taking traffic off the road;
  • Up to £652m of wider positive impacts, including boosting economic productivity, promoting clustering of businesses, increasing business efficiency and output, and reducing road congestion.

Scottish Government Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay, said:

“Overall, the key findings are very encouraging and reveal the extent to which our railways not only foster economic growth but support jobs both directly and through many local supply chains.

“These results also confirm what we have already witnessed through the delivery of major rail projects in recent years, including the Borders Railway that is now revitalising the economies of the Borders and Midlothian region and beyond.

“They also support the Scottish Government’s transport policies, including the £5 billion in capital investment to 2019 which is delivering key infrastructure projects including the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme, alongside improvements to the rail link between Aberdeen and Inverness and the Highland Main Line.

“I look forward to seeing the ongoing positive differences that the rail industry will continue to make to Scotland’s economy in the future.”

Paul Plummer, RDG chief executive, said:

"Rail is of huge value to Scotland’s economic, social and environmental wellbeing. The railway and its supply chain are vitally important to every household in Scotland, linking people with jobs, paying taxes which help fund public services and increasing economic output.

“Billions are being spent on new trains, better stations and improved journeys as we build a successful railway for a successful Scotland.

“There is more to do to improve Scotland's rail services, but the network has been transformed in the last 15 years and our aim is to make it even better for passengers and businesses.”


Notes to editors

Report online http://www.raildeliverygroup.com/files/Publications/2016-03_contribution_of_rail_to_scottish_economy.pdf

Media contacts:

Paul Prentice, Rail Delivery Group - paul.prentice@raildeliverygroup.com 020 3780 4028 / 07471 147 597

Nick Wade, Transport Scotland - Nicholas.wade@transport.gov.scot 0141 272 7199 / 07890 319 062

Published 14 Mar 2016 Tags