Economics and Policy

The RTSC has considerable experience in various areas of transport economics and policy. Recent work making use of the benchmarking data has analysed the cost structure of railways to advise on appropriate fare arrangements, and has measured and compared productivity and performance across firms identifying the main sources of productivity growth in railway and metro operations. The RTSC are active in collecting railway and metro data from a variety of sources across the world to expand our existing database.

Another major strand of economic research involves understanding the costs and benefits of major infrastructure projects. We have recently completed a re-assessment of the economic case for CrossRail for the Corporation of London and have considerable experience in projecting costs for railway and metro investments across the world. Professor Stephen Glaister, CBE, and Dr. Daniel Graham supervise the RTSC economic work. They are renowned experts on regulation in the transport industry and utilities and have published widely in various areas of transport economics including cost-benefit assessment, transport and road pricing and productivity analysis.

For an overview of the work of Professor Glaister and Dr. Graham please see the Publications section of the website.

Other examples of work performed by the Railway and Transport Strategy Centre in the Economics and Regulation area include:

Child pedestrian casualties

2002 - 2003, Client: Institute of Public Policy Research

This research analyses child pedestrian casualties in England, focusing on the influence of socio-economic deprivation.

It develops an area-based model and presents estimates of the model at the level of the 8414 wards. The results detect an association between increased deprivation and higher numbers of pedestrian casualties across England. The deprivation effect is strong both for all child casualties and for children killed or seriously injured. Estimates for adult casualties also reveal a positive and significant association with increasing deprivation, but the magnitude of the effect is smaller than for children. The strength of the relationship increases as the level of deprivation increases and it is particularly large in London. Separate effects are established for each of the six components that constitute the Index of Multiple Deprivation.


2002 - 2003, Client: Corporation of London

This research involved a study into the potential demand for high-quality commuter river services along the Thames between Wandsworth, Central London, Canary Wharf and Masthouse Terrace on the Isle of Dogs.

The study was funded by the Corporation of London. The objective of the study was to investigate the scale and nature of the demand for a range of possible commuter river services.

The work was carried out in three distinct phases. Phase 1 comprised a catchment analysis and Phase 2 involved qualitative research with potential users of riverboat commuting services. The results from the first two phases provided the input for Phase 3, the assessment of the scale and nature of demand for river service.

Pricing, investment and taxation of transport

2002 - 2003, Client: Institute of Public Policy Research

Transport prices are often set on the basis of historical precedent or political expediency and their use as tools of transport management has received insufficient attention. In this report we explore what would be the effect if all transport users were to be charged a "full price".

The research reviews the literature to determine the relevant elasticities, values of time, incremental costs etc. We then develop a model to indicate the economic, social and environmental consequences of changing transport prices and investment, and evaluate transport policies within this model.

Railway track access arrangements and charging

2002 - 2003 , Client: OSE and Attika Metro (Athens)

This project was carried out on behalf of the Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) and the Attiko (Athens) Metro in conjunction with the National Technical University of Athens.

It considers the reasons why the shared use of railway infrastructure might be considered beneficial, and the theoretical basis for the apportionment of joint costs between users. It explored the mechanisms by which the use of railway infrastructure by train operators is governed and charged for in Britain, with specific reference to the joint use of infrastructure by mainline (National Rail) and metro (London Underground) operators. It also looked at some of the technical and operational implications of adopting an infrastructure-sharing arrangement.