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North lags behind London in transport funding

Words: Laura Edgar
England / Shutterstock_214938469

Analysis has suggested that London will receive £4,155 per person in transport investment, while the north of England will receive £1,600 per person.

The analysis, which was undertaken by think tank IPPR North, went further by saying Yorkshire and the Humber will receive £844 per person, the North East will receive £855 per person, and £2,439 per person for the North West.

Overall, this means that planned transport investment in London is almost 2.6 times higher per person than in the North.

IPPR North conducted the analysis following the release by the government (pdf) of its regional breakdown before Christmas 2017.

Although it commended the government for doing its own analysis of the national infrastructure pipeline, IPPR North claimed that the figures are “misleading” as less than half of the planned spending is included, with Transport for London (TfL) expenditure excluded.

TfL’s work is funded by a “mixture of locally retained business rates and fare receipts from TfL operated services”, the government’s Analysis of the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline states.

IPPR North noted that as a result of a deal struck between the Mayor of London and the government, which will see London retain 100 per cent of business rates generated in the capital from April, London will not contribute to transport spending in the rest of England and stands to benefit from £240 million next year.

Additionally, the government report only includes investment in projects from 2017/18 to 2020/21, nothing after, despite, said IPPR North, “the infrastructure pipeline being a long-term planning tool”.

Luke Raikes, senior research fellow at IPPR North, said: “Despite the transport secretary’s recent statements, London is still set to receive almost three times more transport investment per person than the North. This is indefensible.

“The North has been underfunded in comparison to London for decades, and our figures demonstrate that ministers have failed to redress this imbalance. This failure will continue to hold back the North and the country until the government acts.”  

He said the government needs to invest in the “big, transformative projects” that are being developed in the North, such as Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“The government is making Transport for the North a statutory body but it must give it similar powers to Transport for London so that it can encourage business investment and borrow for its own infrastructure instead of going cap in hand to central government.”

Analysis of the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline can be found on the UK Government website.

Image credit / Shutterstock