The Challenge

The East Coast Mainline is one of the most important rail arteries in the country linking London with the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East and Scotland. It has not seen the equivalent levels of investment that the West Coast Main Line has seen and a consortium of Local Authorities, Scottish Regional Transport Partnership and English Local Enterprise Partnerships known as ECMA wanted to quantify the benefit to the UK economy that the route provides.  

SYSTRA's Role

SYSTRA was commissioned by the East Coast Mainline Authorities (ECMA) to develop the strategic case for ongoing investment in the East Coast Mainline. The project involved estimating the impact of service improvements on the economies of settlements along the length of the route from London to the north of Scotland, from which a series of conditional outputs (identifying improvements in services) were developed for services on the route to maximise the potential benefits of rail investment. The economic modelling included examining agglomeration benefits accruing to business as a result of reduced journey times and improved connectivity, and also the impacts on labour markets and productivity as a result of increased labour market catchment areas.  A series of conditional outputs were produced for Network Rail, the Department for Transport and wider stakeholders to feed into the rail industry’s long-term planning process.