Transport spend in London ‘up to seven times higher’ than in North

19 Aug 19

Londoners will receive nearly three times more transport spend per person annually than those in the north of England until 2033 unless the government invests in the Northern Powerhouse, analysis has shown.

Yorkshire and the Humber will see just £511 spent per person on transport every year - more than seven times lower than the £3,636 per capita spend in London, according to the IPPR North. Overall, the north will see £1,247 spent per person, the think-tank calculated. 

The analysis, based on data from the government’s National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline between now and 2033, found that if the north had seen the same per person investment as London over the last decade, it would have received £66bn more. 

To combat this disparity in spending, the government must commit to funding the Northern Powerhouse project and devolve powers to northern mayors and to Transport for the North, the think-tank said. 

Luke Raikes, senior research fellow at IPPR north said: “These figures show that the prime minister must urgently follow through on his promises to invest in northern transport infrastructure and devolve power to northern leaders. 

“The Northern Powerhouse agenda could benefit people across the whole country. Northern transport infrastructure is a national priority. 

“The upcoming Spending Review offers a real opportunity for the government to turn years of Northern Powerhouse rhetoric into reality, and to finally deliver on promises made to the north.” 

IPPR North also recommended that phase two of HS2 must begin in the north so that Northern Powerhouse Rail can be accelerated using its infrastructure.

A government spokesperson said: “We do not recognise these misleading figures – we’re spending more on transport per person in the North than anywhere else.

“We are committed to reversing decades of underinvestment in Northern transport including providing a record £13bn by 2020 to improve transport networks in the North.”

Shortly after becoming prime minister Boris Johnson unveiled a £3.6bn Towns Fund to support deprived areas, improving transport and infrastructure. 

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