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Understanding the relationship between rail station investment and local economic development
Investment in rail stations can have a significant impact on economic development through a variety of effects. Using several case studies, stakeholder consultation and technical analysis, this project examined the linkages and evidence for the relationship between rail station investment and economic development in different contexts throughout the UK.
Network Rail have a major station investment programme ranging from the expansion of major national hubs such as Kings Cross to minor improvements at rural stations. Such projects can have a significant impact on local economic development and are often designed to meet a variety of objectives. This study sought to provide an evidence base for the relationship between station investment and local economic development, to highlight best practise and raise awareness of the opportunities amongst the wide range of station stakeholders in the public and private sector.
How we did it
We undertook a range of case studies examining the economic impacts of station investment across different types of project in different parts of the county. As part of this work, we completed an extensive stakeholder consultation, interviewing around 50 individuals involved in recent station improvement projects to understand the full range and extent of local economic impacts.
We used technical analysis of passenger statistics, station surveys and other metrics including an econometric analysis of land prices surrounding Sheffield station to understand the land value uplift effect of station investment. We also used our in-house Computable General Equilibrium model – SpECTra to analyse the economic impacts of the projects on the wider local economy in terms of jobs, GVA and output to fully quantify the economic benefits of station investment.