New figures show widening funding gap between transport spending in London and the regions

Monday, November 12, 2012
Funding gap

New analysis of Treasury public spending figures reveals that spending on transport in London has now risen to £644 per head compared with £243 per head for the West Midlands and the North of England combined.

The figures per region are: £223 per head for the North East, £279 for the North West, £251 for Yorkshire and Humberside, and £198 for the West Midlands.

The gap has widened considerably since the previous years’ figures with spend in London rising from £642 per head to £644 per head, whilst the spend in the West Midlands and North of England fell from £269 per head to £243 per head (the lowest figure in five years).

The disparity in public spending on transport between London and the regions is not matched for public spending as a whole, or for spending on education or health. It is also a relatively recent phenomenon rather than the historic norm.

The analysis is entirely based on figures in the Treasury’s 2012 Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses which is published on HMT’s website.

Chair of pteg, Geoff Inskip said:

‘We have always been clear London needs and deserves high quality public transport. We also welcome Government funding announcements on a host of transport schemes which will benefit our areas – from HS2 to the Northern Hub and from Leeds NGT to Midland Metro. However, what the Treasury’s own public spending figures show is that the spend per head on transport outside London continues to be dwarfed by the spend per head in London. Any visitor to London can see this with their own eyes – from Oyster cards to the new Routemaster bus, and from the total overhaul of the London Underground to the new London Overground network.

‘London has made an effective case to Government for high levels of spending on transport and the onus is on us to do likewise. But the starting point for this debate needs to be a recognition that there is a substantial disparity in public spending on transport between London and our cities - a disparity that is not matched in other key areas of public spending. If the UK economy is to be rebalanced then we need to see some rebalancing of the transport spending that underpins the national economy.’

ENDS

For more contact Jonathan Bray on 0113 251 7445 / 0781 804 1485