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Railways: Standards

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 15 January 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the effect on the UK economy of cancelled train services in December 2007 and January 2008. (179357)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 15 January 2008:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent question asking what estimate has been made of damage to the UK economy caused by cancelled trains in December 2007 and January 2068. I am replying in her absence. (179357)

Estimates of growth in the volume of economic activity of the rail sector are included as part of a wider estimate of the output of the Land Transport sector published in ONS's monthly Index of Services First Release (IoS FR). The growth in rail transport is measured by the change in the number of passenger-kilometres travelled each month, based on data collected by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR). While it is not possible to separately identify the impact of any cancellations to rail services during the period December 2007 and January 2008, this will be reflected in the published estimates. Estimates for December 2007 based on these data from the ORR will be published in the IoS FR for the first time on 25 April 2008, and estimates for January 2008 on 25 July 2008. If there is a wider impact of any cancellations to rail services on other sectors it would be reflected in the estimates of growth for these sectors published as part of GDP, which are typically based on estimates of turnover returned to ONS by businesses. However, again any such impact would not be separately identifiable.