Andrew Smith

Professor of Transport Performance and Economics at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds

Andrew is Professor of Transport Performance and Economics at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds. Andrew leads the Institute’s Rail Research Theme. His research is focused on: 1) rail infrastructure cost modelling work to support track access pricing regimes; (2) studying the impact of international rail reforms, industry structure and regulatory practice on economic efficiency; (3) modelling the economic impact of rail technology innovations and the incentives required to support implementation; and (4) cost and efficiency modelling, with particular focus on rail transport but also covering other transport modes (airports; roads; bus) and utilities (water and energy). He has published important work in these areas and has led or is leading a wide range of research projects, funded by, for example, the British Office of Rail and Road, Ofgem, Ofwat, the European Commission, SNCF Reseau, The International Transport Forum (ITF), UK Research Councils, and the UK Department for Transport.

Andrew is currently leading a strategic partnership with SNCF Reseau that includes benchmarking the performance of its regional units and studying the cost behaviour of assets over their life cycle at a more disaggregate level; covering maintenance and renewal of multiple asset-types; as well as the relationship between costs, incidents and performance. This work forms an input into the regulatory process with respect to track access charges. Andrew’s econometric work has produced new evidence on e.g. the marginal cost of rail infrastructure with respect to traffic; the relative benefits of vertical separation compared to integrated or holding company structures; the costs and benefits of different approaches to introducing competition in passenger rail services; and the relative efficiency performance of transport firms, with a recent focus on the relationship between cost and performance (train delays). Andrew has also led work on economic incentives in railways, including in respect of the role of track access charges, and the question of how to incentivise innovation in rail.

Andrew is academic advisor to water regulator Ofwat and energy regulator Ofgem on econometric benchmarking, having acted for many years as advisor on cost modelling and benchmarking for ORR. Andrew was until the end of 2019 a member of the advisory board of the Italian Transport Regulation Authority, producing benchmarking and cost modelling guidance in written form and through workshops, and is Associate Editor of the Journal of Transport Economics and Policy. Andrew has a visiting research position at the University of Masaryk, Czech Republic. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Transportation Economics Association (ITEA).


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