This report for the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission explores the following question:
‘Is there a role for improved inter-city transport connections to contribute to the economic performance of the Northern Powerhouse?
(i) what is the potential scale of productivity impacts?
(ii) what are the conditions under which these impacts are likely to be comparatively greater?’
To address the question robustly, we have drawn together the best available evidence, both theoretical and empirical. We have complemented this with new analysis, making clear our assumptions and appropriate interpretation. We remain open about the current gaps in knowledge and where uncertainties remain.
This report reflects the forefront of thinking on these issues and seeks to advance the current knowledge and evidence base in a transparent way. We are grateful for the input and oversight of Professor Stephen Gibbons – Director of the Spatial Economics Research Centre at the London School of Economics; and for the modelling support of Stephen Law at the Bartlett Space Syntax Laboratory, University College London.