Oxera works with highly skilled independent experts who have a wealth of knowledge within their fields. These individuals are highly recognised within a variety of sectors and our collaboration with them means that we can offer the best advice, which in turn inspires our clients to make informed decisions.


Chris specialises in transport, the environment, macroeconomics and public policy. A former UK government Chief Economist with 35 years’ experience of strategic policy analysis and advice, initially in the Treasury but latterly in successive Departments of Environment and Transport, Chris started working with Oxera in mid-2005. He has extensive experience of both structural and macroeconomic issues, including monetary and fiscal policy, taxation, the environment, housing and local government, land-use planning, regeneration and regional development, and transport. He is experienced in both national and international issues, working with international organisations, including the IMF, the OECD and the European Commission.

In Government, Chris worked on various transport White Papers, including the Ten Year Plan (2000), Air Transport (2003), the Future of Transport (2004), Rail (2004), and the Road Pricing Feasibility Study (2004). He coordinated transport and environment policy inputs to successive Energy Reviews (1998 and 2003), has worked on a range of tax policies, including new taxes such as the Climate Change Levy (2001), the Aggregates Levy (2002) and the shipping Tonnage Tax (2000), and has advised on government environmental programmes including Climate Change, Air Quality and Sustainable Development. Chris has overseen extensive technical work on economic appraisal, evaluation and modelling in these areas and on major transport projects such as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and Crossrail. This experience, and his earlier work in the Treasury, have underpinned his work with Oxera.

Selected project experience

  • Report for Gatwick Airport on the economic impact of a new runway in South East England, which was submitted to the Airports Commission (2014–15)
  • Advised Stagecoach in its submission on the business case for a Quality Contracts Scheme in Tyne & Wear (2014–15)
  • Report for the Rail Delivery Group on the contribution of GB rail to the economy (2014)
  • Assisted in developing the economic case for a new railway line in Eastern Europe (2013–14)
  • Assessment of the economic impact of a large UK port (2013–14)
  • Advice on economic issues for the development of two international airports (2013)
  • Report for the Transport Select Committee on the commercial case for a new hub airport (2012–13)
  • Report for the ORR on options for rail fares regulation (2012)
  • Advice to a bus company on the DfT methodology for concessionary fares reimbursement, including econometric analysis (2012)
  • Report for a UK port on tariff indexation (2011)
  • Report for the Transport Select Committee on the government’s High Speed Rail Programme (2011)
  • Advice to a train operator on rail fares regulation (2010–11)
  • Advice on incentives and interfaces in the UK rail industry (2010)
  • Report on the theory, measurement and implications of international connectivity (2010)
  • Advice on revisiting the Rail Passenger Demand Forecasting Handbook elasticity-based framework (2009–10)
  • Report on the sustainability of High Speed Rail (2009)
  • Report for the Airline Operators Association on the contribution of aviation to the UK economy (2009)
  • Report for the Local Government Association on the value of bus subsidy (2009)
  • Advice on the economic effects of raising charges at an airport (2008)
  • Application of real option valuation techniques to transport appraisal (2008)
  • Advice to an airline on a compensation case (2008)
  • Advice to a small island on development land requirements (2008)
  • Advice to a rolling stock company in relation to the Competition Commission’s ROSCO inquiry (2008)
  • Advice to an electricity distribution company on economic drivers of load growth over the next 15 years (2007–09)
  • Water-borne freight issues (2007)
  • Impact on rail freight and the wider economy of introducing Longer Heavier Vehicles (2007)
  • Treatment of rail crowding in appraisal and modelling (2006–07)
  • Advice to a groceries company in relation to the Competition Commission’s groceries inquiry (2006)
  • Advice on the fiscal and policy implications of a small island’s ageing population (2006)
  • Appraisal handbook for tourism projects, for a small island (2006)
  • Economic analysis of discounting in relation to the Water Framework Directive (2006)
  • Advice to companies bidding for train operating franchises (2005–07)
  • Impact assessment for the European Commission of legitimising secondary slot trading at Community airports (2005–06)

Selected publications

  • Riley, C. (2011), written evidence (Ev 237) to the Transport Select Committee for its report on Transport and the Economy, HC 473, February.
  • Riley, C. (2011), ‘Reducing the value of small travel time savings is not the way to improve appraisal’, Local Transport Today, Viewpoint, 562, 14 January.
  • Cartea, Á., Meaney, A., Oxley, P., Riley, C., Worsley, T. and Zamani, H. (2008), ‘How should real transport options be measured?’ Papers and Proceedings of the European Transport Conference, Leeuwenhorst.
  • Riley, C. (2008), ‘Discounting and risky transport schemes’, Papers and Proceedings of the Conference on Transport Appraisals, March.
  • Meaney, A., Riley, C., Holt, D., Noble, R. and Oxley, P. (2007), ‘Assessing the Welfare Impact of the Introduction of Secondary Slot Trading at Community Airports’, Papers and Proceedings of the European Transport Conference, Leeuwenhorst.
  • Riley, C. (2002), ‘Comments on Mills and Evans’, in P. Cheshire and S. Sheppard (eds), Analysis of Urban Land Markets and the Impact of Land Market Regulation, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
  • Riley, C. (1996), ‘Recent Developments in Housing Policy: the Economic Context’, in the House of Commons Environment Committee Second Report on Housing Need, Volume II, HMSO.
  • Riley, C. (1996), ‘The New UK Landfill Tax’, in Environmental Taxes and Charges, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Dublin.


  • MA Mathematics, University of Oxford
  • MA Economics, University of East Anglia