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30th November 2018

Northerners get half the transport investment of Londoners

Reports suggest since the launch of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ plan, transport spending in London is continuing to rise, leaving the north behind
Northerners get half the transport investment of Londoners
Photo: Gerald England @ Geograph

Figures released by left-leaning think tank IPPR North show that those living in the North have under half the amount of money spent per person on transport than those living in London.

London has seen an increase of £326 per person in public transport spending, whereas the North has seen an increase of only £146.

George Osborne, ex-chancellor and now a guest lecturer at UoM, instigated the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ plan five years ago with aims to close the gap between the North-South divide.

Whilst transport spending per person remains around twice as high in London than in the North, it also reflects a positive surge in funding for the North-West for the first time in a decade.

Luke Raikes, Senior Research Fellow at IPPR North, said: “Current figures show us that the government still needs to follow through on their promises to make the Northern Powerhouse a reality.

“An increase in spending in the North-West in the past year is very welcome. As is the £37m announced in the budget for transport in the North, but the North-East and Yorkshire and the Humber are yet to see such a boost, and investment in the North still pales in comparison to spending in London.

“People are continuing to suffer the very real effects of decades of under-investment, and the ongoing chaos on northern trains is a clear sign of how far there is to go.”

In June, Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry denied claims about the on-going discrepancies between the North and South of England. Speaking to Manchester Evening News, Berry stated: “Figures show investment in the North-West is higher per capita than any other region in the North and higher per capita than most regions in the South of England.

“You can also see it like me if you were one of the first passengers to plot the Ordsall Chord in Manchester which is the biggest Government investment in Manchester’s rail infrastructure ever.

“And that reflects across the north of England that we’re investing more money in Northern transport infrastructure than any government in history.”

Since then plans to upgrade Piccadilly with two new platforms have been suspended due to a lack of funding of the £85m planned Ordsall Chord, leaving commuters with major delays around the surrounding area.

The IPPR has called for the Department for Transport (DfT) to acknowledge the promises made by the government to invest into the north to provide better transport links.

In retaliation, the DfT Treasury have decided to analyse their own expenditure data, confirming that Londoners have higher spending, but claim Transport for London also provides for those commuters that do not live in London but require their services when travelling.

Plans have been made by the DfT government sector to deliver a “£13bn transformation for transport across the north by 2020,” with priorities leaning towards projects that will upgrade the M62 from Manchester to Leeds with a 4-lane smart motorway.

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