Posted 19th July 2010 | 2 Comments

Rail 'creates more jobs than road transport'

MORE jobs would be created
by reducing car use and encouraging a switch to rail travel, according to a new report.

The findings. commissioned by pteg, the Campaign for Better Transport and Sustrans from researchers Ekosgen, show that 100 direct rail jobs support 140 ‘indirect and induced’ jobs, while 100 direct motor industry jobs support only 48 other jobs.

The conclusion is also supported by evidence from the United States that investing in public transport creates twice as many jobs than investing in roads.

The report goes on to say: ‘It is widely accepted that sustainable transport is at the heart of tackling congestion, in delivering important international  commitments on climate change and bringing about the change to a low carbon economy.  In addition this research firmly demonstrates that the sustainable transport sector also employs significant numbers of people (estimated at almost half a million jobs) which can make an important contribution to the economic recovery and growth.’

Stephen Joseph, who is the director of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: ‘This report clearly shows for the first time that sustainable transport industries are major employers and are in fact on some measures more  important to the overall economy than the motor industry. Investment in sustainable transport can support the low carbon industries the  Government says it wants to encourage. In deciding its spending priorities, the Government must learn the lessons from other countries, where consistent long term investment in rail and bus has supported domestic manufacturing industries providing skilled jobs.’

[Stephen Joseph is the contributor of Guest Opinion in the current print edition of Railnews, No. 161]

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Rob, Leeds

    It would be nice if this encouraged the Lib-Dems to insist on their manifesto rail plans. I doubt it will somehow!

  • Chris Reynell, Longstock, Hampshire.

    A few years ago there was a report published, I think by the Environmental Transport Association.

    It said the real cost of motoring was that every car had about a £1000 subsidy per year if all the costs of highway construction and maintenance, police, rescue services, hospitals, disabilities, pollution were taken in to account.

    Whilst rail costs are fairly transparent, much of the road transport is funded by national and local authorities; taxpayers and ratepayers.

    When £billions is spent upgrading bridges to take heavier lorries, who pays for this? The haulage industry (and other road users), the tax/rate payer or the railway?

    When travelling for business, by road you can get a generous "milage allowance" that covers all your motoring costs and more! The bigger your car, the more you get.

    Business by rail - ticket refund only, no wonder most people drive!

    It is time that all business travellers get the same rate per mile what ever the means of transport.