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Industry Rail

Volterra works with rail providers and planning authorities both in assessing the eligibility of new developments and in enhancing strategic performance. Our expertise in Socio-Economic Impact Assessment allows us to quantify the impact of new rail developments on both the economy and the broader society, using tools that are robust and well-regarded by stakeholders. Our work has often also involved innovative approaches that tailor our analysis to our clients’ specific needs. Recent projects include both recent High Speed Rail developments and London’s Crossrail programme. Have a look at our case studies to read about how our work in the rail industry in greater detail.

Capabilities Employed:

Transport Economics Socio-Economic Assessment

High Speed Rail

High Speed One

We undertook a study for London and Continental Railways on the economic and regeneration benefits of High Speed One, the link between St Pancras and the Channel Tunnel, enabling direct services between London and a range of destinations in north and east Kent.

This study found that the benefits doubled if Wider Economic Impacts were included.  This study considered new methods for estimating the regeneration benefits of HS1, by valuing the development potential facilitated around Kings Cross, Stratford, Ebbsfleet and Ashford – this showed that even if only 5% of these benefits were considered additional, then this would amount to £10bn of regeneration benefits which would more than double the estimates of conventional benefits and WEBs (which were together £7.6bn).

Read the study here

High Speed Two

For the Core Cities Group we investigated the infrastructure requirements to support growth. We concluded that investments in accessibility are key to growth, and that increased capacity and speed to cities outside London will be essential to support their continued success and ability to reach their potential. An increase in trips of at least 80,000 per day will be necessary to support potential employment increases of 330,000 in the cities which will be linked by the High Speed Rail Y route.

Below is a video of Volterra Managing Partner Bridget Rosewell explaining the importance of transport investment outside of London

Bridget Rosewell: Creating Growth for British Cities from Volterra Partners on Vimeo.

Read more…
Core Cities Report: Understanding the transport Infrastructure Requirements 

Cross London Rail Links



Bridget Rosewell has been involved in developing the economic case for Crossrail, a new East to West London tube and train line since 2002. The £16bn line was finally agreed in October 2007. The team developed the argument for Wider Economic Benefits, created a methodology for valuing them and liased with the DfT in order to gain acceptance for the methodology.

The introduction of Wider Economic Benefits and agglomeration has changed the debate on transport priorities considerably, as reflected in the recent Eddington Review. Volterra’s work for Crossrail included constantly improving the methodology and exploring the wide ranging consequences including for taxation and regeneration.

We worked with transport consultants Colin Buchanan in estimating the impact of crowding on the transport system on levels of employment. Finally we developed methods to value levels of employment and particularly to describe agglomeration, the link between employment density and productivity.

This work has brought the concept of agglomeration into policy. Although the idea dates back to the earliest economists, its importance had been neglected in policy making. This had particular impact on investment in cities, since the neglect of the benefits of agglomeration has reduced investment in infrastructure for decades. We have been instrumental in convincing HM Treasury that the concept is valid and important. Much of this work has been done under the auspices of Crossrail Ltd to make the case for this investment.

Our work was used by Alasdair Darling, then Secretary of State for Transport, when he introduced the Crossrail Bill into the House of Commons.

We argued that the size of the tax bill generated by this investment more than covers the costs of building the railway.

We also produced two further pieces of work for Crossrail – the first assessed the impact of the recession on the benefits of Crossrail and the second considered the possibility of using the Post Office Railway Tunnel (PORT) to excavate material during construction.

Contact Ellie Evans for more information.

Read the Studies:
Crossrail – Costs of Delay
The Economic Benefits of Crossrail

Northern Line Extension

In 2011 we were commissioned by Transport for London and Wandsworth and Lambeth Councils to produce a study into the potential financial and social benefits of extending the Northern line to provide two new Tube stops in the Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea (VNEB) Opportunity Area. One would be located at Wandsworth Road and another at Battersea Power Station.

We found that the Northern Line Extension (NLE) would enable the underdeveloped Nine Elms district to support the same high levels of commercial activity as the rest of central London. This subsequent rise in economic outputs and inward investment means that the scheme offers exceptionally high value for money, with the benefits that the two proposed new stations would bring paying for the scheme an estimated three times over, with a potential even higher rate of return if the regeneration area attracts a high level of foreign investment.

Nine Elms is a 450 acre regeneration area on the South Bank of the Thames, opposite Westminster. A multi-billion development programme has now begun transforming this industrial district into a high density residential and business quarter. Our report asserted that the NLE will provide the extra transport capacity the area needs to support its growing uses and will speed up the regeneration process.

A fully developed Nine Elms would provide up to 25,000 new jobs, 16,000 new homes contributing to the NLE delivering as much as a £7.9 billion growth to the UK economy. TFL will use our findings in their planning application which they plan to submit in 2013 and the new Tube stations could be open by 2018.

Find out more…
Full Report 
Press Release February 2011
Article in The Times

Confederation of British Industry

In 2010 we undertook a study for the CBI which considered the ongoing importance of investing in infrastructure, with a particular focus on transport.  This study reviewed relevant literature, summarising evidence on the importance of infrastructure in underpinning the economy.  It highlighted the historic underinvestment in infrastructure in the UK and the importance placed on future investment if the UK is to retain its global competitiveness.

The study gave examples such as the Jubilee Line extension, Crossrail and HSR.  The study was used by the CBI to support their statement emphasising the importance of continued investment in transport in the UK in order to maximise the potential of economic growth and recovery from the recession.

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