Green transport is working

ecolink bus close-up Nottingham
  • New report shows sustainable transport is better for jobs than motor industry

A new report, launched today (Monday July 19th) shows there are now over 450,000 jobs in sustainable transport industries in the UK. It also finds that investing in more sustainable transport modes (like rail) creates more direct and indirect jobs than investing in less sustainable modes (like the motor industry). With transport slated to take a big hit from public spending reductions the report highlights what could be at stake for jobs as transport budgets are re-shaped.

The report by Ekosgen (and commissioned by pteg, Campaign for Better Transport and Sustrans) is the first study in recent times to take a comprehensive look at the jobs that are created by investing in different forms of transport.

It finds that:

  • a reduction in car travel and a transfer to public transport would result in a net increase in employment
  • the creation of 100 direct rail jobs supports 140 indirect and induced jobs, compared with 100 direct motor industry jobs which creates 48 indirect and direct jobs
  • research into transport investment in America provides evidence that investing in public transport creates twice as many jobs than investing in roads

The report concludes:

‘The evidence shows that the employment impacts of rail and bus services are considerable and that increasing public transport journeys at the expense of car journeys would result in additional employment.’

It also finds that:

‘It is widely accepted that sustainable transport is at the heart of tackling congestion, in delivering important international commitments on climate change and bringing about the change to a low carbon economy. In addition this research firmly demonstrates that the sustainable transport sector also employs significant numbers of people (estimated at almost half a million jobs) which can make an important contribution to the economic recovery and growth. Such employment compares favourably with investment in the motor industry. The research also shows that the sector employs a diverse range of skills and occupations in a variety of transport and non-transport roles.’

The report - ‘Employment in sustainable transport’ can be downloaded below.

Neil Scales, Chair of pteg, said:

‘This report shows that pound for pound investing in sustainable transport modes is a good way to create jobs. The places we serve include areas with some of the country’s highest levels of unemployment. Improving our public transport systems and making better provision for walking and cycling is not only good for our environment and our local economies - it can also help create sustainable jobs in places that need them. When tough decisions are being made on public spending, reports like these show that the case for investing in the sustainable transport modes is robust on every level.’

Stephen Joseph, Director of the Campaign for Better Transport, said:

‘This report clearly shows for the first time that sustainable transport industries are major employers and are in fact on some measures more important to the overall economy than the motor industry. Investment in sustainable transport can support the low carbon industries the Government says it wants to encourage. In deciding its spending priorities, the Government must learn the lessons from other countries, where consistent long term investment in rail and bus has supported domestic manufacturing industries providing skilled jobs.’

Jason Torrance, Policy Manager at Sustrans, said:

‘A 'perfect storm' of massive cuts in public spending could overwhelm transport priorities unless action is taken to invest in low carbon jobs that make it possible for more people to walk, cycle and use public transport. This report clearly shows that investment in sustainable transport is good for jobs and good for our economy. Sustrans' work as a practical charity has proven that helping people to use their cars less for short, everyday journeys transforms lives and could help make radical cuts in spending from the public purse.’


For more contact:

Jonathan Bray (pteg) 0113 251 7445 / 0781 804 1485

Jason Torrance (Sustrans) 0117 915 0497 / 07826851054

Jack Haskew (Campaign for Better Transport) 0207 566 6483 / 0798 477 3468