Rail To Play A Key Role In The UK’s Recovery From The Pandemic

13/10/21 Rail To Play A Key Role In The UK’s Recovery From The Pandemic

A new report by Steer has found that London North Eastern Railway (LNER) can play a central role in the UK Government’s net zero ambitions and levelling-up agenda.    

The independent report reveals the significant economic, social and environmental benefits that LNER and its services between London and the Scottish Highlands deliver to the UK, and the additional benefits it can deliver with its planned service improvements in the coming years.  

The UK Economic, Social and Environment Value Delivered by London North Eastern Railway, by Steer, establishes that LNER services and investment are worth £2bn to the UK every year, and that for every £1 spent running and investing in LNER services, at least £2 is generated in economic (GVA) impact and an additional £0.83 is generated in wider societal impacts. 

The value to the UK of the time saved by customers taking LNER services, and productive time enjoyed by customers on these services, is estimated to be around £610m per year. The economic impact is also felt across the country as LNER’s supply chain adds more than £665m to local economies, from businesses ranging from creative services to cleaning.   

Future service improvements will see LNER increase its contribution to the UK economy. This will see its annual impact of £2bn increase to between £2.1bn and £2.2bn meaning that by mid 2020s for every £1 spent running and investing in LNER services around £3 of value will be generated.  

The environmental benefits from choosing rail over air or car travel are also high. Travelling on LNER has meant that there have been 864,000 fewer journeys by air and 240,000 fewer journeys by car per annum. This in turn saves over 170,000 tonnes of carbon per year.  

David Horne, LNER Managing Director said: “This independent report confirms that LNER has a crucial role to play in the UK’s recovery – levelling up the country and helping it reach net zero. Whether it is our services, employment, procurement from local suppliers  or partnerships with charities, every choice we make has the potential to create new opportunities for the towns and cities we serve in England and Scotland. 

“Before the pandemic LNER had an annual impact of £2bn – meaning that every £1 spent generated £2 for the wider economy. Our plans for the future, including additional long-distance services, will increase our economic, societal and environmental contribution much further. It is also clear that encouraging more people to choose rail over other less environmentally friendly options will be crucial if the UK is to meet its net-zero ambitions.” 

The full report can be viewed online here.   

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