Supporting the economy
Rail is a key economic enabler and we are determined to further improve our support for the economy. There are a number of well-established ways inwhich rail supports productivity:
- Reducing congestion
- Increasing the benefits of co-location
- Increasing outputs through reduced journey costs and times
By transporting millions of commuters every day, rail plays a critical role in the economies of our major cities. As seen in the Northern Hub, rail can play a key role in regeneration and generating economic benefits in regions throughout the UK. Rail freight also makes a significant contribution, supporting key industrial sectors and increasingly penetrating other markets such as the distribution of food and other products.
The rail supply sector plays a vital role in maximising the economic benefits of rail to the economy, especially at a time of record investment. This sector has published its own plan to grow capacity and productivity, including investing in skills and innovation. Greater engagement, and business, with SMEs will be a key focus.
Throughout, how we run our businesses will define the impact we have. Paying the Living Wage will lead to greater productivity, as well as improved local economic impact. Sustainable procurement approaches can have significant impacts for local businesses, SMEs and social enterprises, directly supporting local economies and building awareness of rail as well as getting good value for money. While engaging with economic development stakeholders will be essential.