The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, believes new figures that reveals the difference in transport investment ambitions between London and the North should make “embarrassing reading for the government.”
This was his reaction to the research undertaken by thinktank IPPR North, which revealed planned transport investment per capita in London will be almost treble that of the North of England.
Andy Burnham said the promises for northern transport from the government are “about as reliable as our trains,” as figures show that planned spending in London will amount to £3,636 per person; by contrast, the North will receive £1,247 per capita.
For some regions, the disparity really is notable, with the North East set to see £519 per capita in transport investment; for Yorkshire and the Humber, this is even less, at £511.
The North West fares somewhat better, but even that total is almost £1,600 less of spending per person.
And after the publication of these figures, Andy Burnham said it’s now more important than ever, given the growing disparity in investment, that the Prime Minister backs his spending pledges in the region.
“This report should make embarrassing reading for the government. In the five years since they first promised us a Northern Powerhouse, the transport spending gap between North and South has widened and is set to get even wider over the next decade.
“So far, government promises to the North have proved to be about as reliable as our trains.
“To be fair, the new Prime Minister has recognised our frustration and made new commitments. It is essential that he now backs up his words with action.
“As Mayor of London, he successfully argued for new funding and powers over transport for the capital. As Prime Minister, he must now deliver exactly the same for the North of England.”
The Mayor believes anything less than this commitment to the Northern Powerhouse will reveal it to be a “giant political con.”