London transport investment ‘more than double north’s’
Planned transport investment in London is two-and-a-half times more per person than in the north of England, a new study claims.
Think tank IPPR North said the capital will receive £4,155 per person compared with £1,600 in the North West, North East, Yorkshire and Humber combined.
It said England will be “dangerously unbalanced” without more northern investment.
The government said the figures were “completely misleading”.
IPPR North said its calculations are based on information from the government’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority and analysis of Treasury data.
But the government’s analysis of planned central government transport investment shows the north will receive more investment per person (£1,039) than the south (£1,029).
But IPPR North said this was “misleading”, given nearly £12bn of Transport for London (TfL) spending was excluded.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has signed a deal with London Mayor Sadiq Khan which allows the capital to keep its own business rates to spend on transport.
The government said TfL projects should not be included in the data as they receive no central funding.
Historically, TfL revenues were pooled, in part to rebalance the economy, IPPR said.
The think tank said the government’s analysis also only covers until 2020/21 after which a “large proportion” of spending is due to go to London.
Luke Raikes, of IPPR North, said: “London is still set to receive almost three times more transport investment per person than the north. This is indefensible.
“The north has been underfunded in comparison with London for decades […] and ministers have failed to redress this imbalance.”
A government spokesman said IPPR’s analysis was “completely misleading” and “highly unrepresentative” because only a few projects have published spending projections beyond 2021.
He also said it was “misleading for their analysis to include Transport for London projects which receive no central government funding.”