Mott MacDonald with the Elizabeth Line

Social Value

The Elizabeth line, which opened to passengers in May 2022, is the most significant addition to London’s transport network in a generation and has brought enormous social value for London and the South East.

Carrying up to 250 million passengers a year, it is contributing to safer, greener travel, improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions. Its integration with bus services and cycle facilities encourages more active travel to and from stations, leading to better health outcomes. By improving connections to and from London’s Opportunity Areas, the new line will stimulate local economies and encourage developers and businesses to invest in these areas, resulting in more homes and local employment opportunities.

The Elizabeth line has been over 30 years in the making and Mott MacDonald has been a trusted advisor to the client on many aspects of the project’s planning, delivery and legacy. We have advised on the business plan, the route and its structures, supplied project management, consultancy, design and contract management expertise, and helped develop the systems required for a functioning railway.

Through three decades of close collaboration and consultancy work with Transport for London (TfL) and its subsidiaries Crossrail Ltd and Rail for London Infrastructure (RfLI), we have ensured that social value was embedded in every stage of the project: from the original business case, through to the planning, design, and construction phases, and when advising the organisation on how to transition from a construction project into operation.

We helped TfL develop and deliver the business case for Crossrail, which was first published in 2003 and was continuously reviewed throughout the project lifecycle to take account of technological and societal developments. As well as transport network outcomes such as improved network capacity and journey time, the outcomes sought from the Crossrail project include wider outcomes for London, such as regeneration and opportunity, new homes and jobs, improved health and sustainable growth.

We worked with the client to link the project’s outputs with the desired outcomes through a framework of measurable benefits. We identified the recipient of the benefits in each case and distinguished between intermediate benefits that could be realised throughout the project, and end benefits that would be realised through longer-term operation.
Jointly developed with the client, this framework provided the basis for social value to be integrated in the heart of the project, with the agreed benefits and metrics considered at every stage.

Throughout the project, we worked with TfL to leave a sustainable legacy, maximising the benefits for Londoners’ lives – their mobility, job prospects and wellbeing – and for the economy and society at large.

The line is a major catalyst for regeneration across London and the South East. It is expected to create 300,000 new jobs and lead to 180,000 new homes, and 4.4 million square metres of office and retail space, being built along the route by 2026. Overall, the project is expected to generate at least £42bn for the UK economy.

View the Mott MacDonald profile in the MCA Members Directory.