The Institute for Policy Research – IPPR – has urged Boris Johnson to keep his promise to invest more for transport in the north of England after they found it was set to receive £2,389 less per person than those in the capital.
IPPR North’s research, which analysed the government’s planned infrastructure projects to 2033, revealed that London has been allocated £3,636 in transport spending per person, compared with just £1,247 for the north.
The IPPR warned that the findings suggested that the north is being severely disadvantaged unless investment in the Northern Powerhouse goes ahead.
The North West is set to receive £2,062 per person whereas Yorkshire and Humberside could receive just £511 and the north east £519 per person, seven times less per person than people in London.
The IPPR North study also said the spending gap had widened in the past decade, with the boost in London being 2.5 times more than in the north.
IPPR researcher and author of the report Luke Raikes said:
“These figures show the prime minister must urgently follow through on his promises to invest in northern transport infrastructure and devolve power to the north’s leaders.
“The Northern Powerhouse agenda could benefit people across the whole country. Northern transport infrastructure is a national priority.”
The Northern Powerhouse was conceived by chancellor George Osborne, in June 2014, when he outlined an ambition to bring together the cities, towns and rural communities in the north of England to facilitate and encourage economic growth.
In response to the latest findings, a government spokesperson insisted they were committed to reversing decades of underinvestment in northern transport including providing a record £13bn by 2020 to improve transport networks in the north:
“As the prime minister recently set out, this government wants to drive growth across the north including through Northern Powerhouse Rail, giving local leaders greater powers and investing £3.6bn in towns across England.”
Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald added:
“The north is held back by government under-investment in transport and a lack of powers over public transport, including poor rail connectivity and cuts to bus services.”