North ‘gets half the transport spending of London’

Think tank IPPR North said on Tuesday that UK Government figures it has analysed show that transport spending per person has gone up twice as much in London as it has in the North of England since the Northern Powerhouse agenda was introduced in 2014.

IPPR North is a dedicated think tank for the north of England with bases in Manchester and Newcastle.

The UK Government figures detail transport spending between 2013-14 and 2017-18.

IPPR North said its analysis of the figures shows that while London has seen a £326 per person increase in public transport spending, the North has seen an increase less than half the size – just £146.

It said transport spending per person remains approximately twice as high in London as in the North – as it has for the past decade.

IPPR North said spending has risen significantly in the north west in the last year – up by £158 per person compared to £91 per person in London.

But spending per head in the north west of England still remains far lower at £528 compared to £1,019 per person in London.

And spending actually fell in Yorkshire and the Humber by £18 per person – more than any other region.

Meanwhile, spending in the North East of England did rise, but by just £2 per person.

Almost five years on from the UK Government’s announcement of the Northern Powerhouse agenda, IPPR North has renewed its call for the UK Department for Transport to follow through on promises to invest in the North and to devolve power to Transport for the North.

Luke Raikes, senior research fellow at IPPR North said: “Today’s figures show us that 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 £37 million 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 underinvestment, and the ongoing chaos on northern trains is a clear sign of how far there is to go.

“The Northern Powerhouse has the potential to improve the whole country by transforming the North’s economy.

“In realising this, transport has an important role to play in helping to connect people, services and goods across the region.

“Next year will offer the government an opportunity to improve their record on transport spending. They must take it.

“Transport for the North is now developing investment plans that will address this long-standing problem and the government will then have the chance to follow through on their promises: to give the green light on long-overdue investment in the North; and to devolve real power so that the North can take responsibility for its own transport network.”