Transport funding gap grows even wider

Monday, July 11, 2011
Funding gap

New figures show transport spend in London is now close to triple the spend in the North of England and West Midlands.

New analysis of Treasury public spending figures reveals that spending on transport in London has now risen to £802 per head compared with £286 per head for the West Midlands and the North of England combined.

The figures per region are: £248 per head for the North East, £333 for the North West, £272 for Yorkshire and Humberside, and £257 for the West Midlands.

The gap has widened considerably since the previous years’ figures with spend in London rising from £634 per head to £802 per head, whilst the spend in the West Midlands and North of England rose relatively modestly from £262 to £286 per head.

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.

Chair of pteg, Geoff Inskip said:

‘London needs and deserves high quality public transport. And from Oyster cards to London Overground, and from St Pancras to the overhaul of the tube, London’s transport system has been transformed in recent years. It’s an achievement that is rightly to be admired and is predicated on the importance of a modern and efficient transport network to London’s economic vigour and sustainable development. However, it’s not just London’s transport system that needs a shot in the arm. Our cities are economic powerhouses but a greater level of transport investment in Britain’s major urban centres is needed to help bridge the North South divide and ensure that we can boost our economic performance and reach our potential.’

‘These funding gap figures validate what people can see with their own eyes - which is that in recent years transport spending in London has been in a different league when compared with the next tier of major cities. High Speed Two, and large scale expansion of tram networks like Manchester Metrolink, show that investment in public transport is far from confined to the capital – but we need to keep up the pace on investment of that scale if the funding gap isn’t to continue to grow in a divisive and disproportionate way.’

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