City pays high price for transport delays

Jul 29 2003 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Chronic transport delays cost a minimum of £750 a year per City worker - just under £1 million per business day for the City of London as a whole, according to research report published by the Corporation of London.

Over nine out of ten City workers use public transport to get to work, and the frequent transport delays they face due to lack of capacity and the unreliability of the system is conservatively estimated to cost £230 million a year.

ĎThe Economic Effects of Transport Delays on the City of Londoní, written by Oxford Economic Forecasting, was based on an extensive analysis of transport data and surveys of City employers and employees and adds weight to the case for additional investment in the capitalís transport infrastructure.

City firms were almost unanimous in saying that the productivity of their staff is reduced by problems faced in commuting, while a third report some loss of business caused by their staff being absent as a result of transport delays.

Around half of companies say that transport delays make it harder for them to recruit and retain staff in the City and that salaries have to be higher to compensate staff for long and uncomfortable journeys.

For more than one in ten firms (12 per cent), problems with transport in the City and the wider Central London Business District have been factors in their relocating operations outside central London. Some 16 per cent of companies also report that they have made new investments in other locations as a consequence of the Cityís transport problems.

Michael Snyder, Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, Corporation of London said: "City firms consistently tell us that improving the transportation system should be policy-makersí highest priority in London. The Corporation of London funded the research to provide policy makers with evidence of the damage that existing delays cause.

"The findings are clear - London needs more money spent on its crumbling Victorian infrastructure if it is to grow and develop and produce even more wealth for the rest of the country and the economy."