Research from IPPR North suggests planned transport investment in London is set to be almost three times as much per person than that of the North.
Comprehensive analysis from the thinktank has found that investment of £3,636 per capita is planned in the capital, compared with £1,247 per person in the North of England.
This means therefore that planned transport investment per capita is 2.9 times higher in London than on the North.
When this is broken down to individual northern regions even further, the commitment to transport spending in London is seven times more per capita than in the North East, and 7.1 more than Yorkshire and the Humber.
The North West fares somewhat better, but at £2,062 per capita, is still much less than the planned spending on London’s transport system.
The research from IPPR North comes at a crucial time; its report says the upcoming spending review “presents an opportunity for the government to demonstrate their commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.”
Indeed, the Prime Minister made a very public commitment to spending on Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) and in particular, a Manchester to Leeds rail route.
This report from IPPR North shines a light on, and tests that commitment; it has recommended that the government deliver on the NPR project and other projects in the North, not just the Manchester – Leeds section.
It has recommended building HS2 Phase 2 in the North first; devolution of £300 million project development budget; devolution of transport powers and fair funding; and the investment in ‘quick wins’ in the North as well as long-term infrastructure projects.
The Mayor of the Greater Manchester Region, Andy Burnham, commented on Twitter: “We hear a lot of rhetoric from the government on the North. But IPPR North reveals the reality. Nothing much has changed.
“Unless the new PM delivers soon on his commitments, the Northern Powerhouse will go down as a giant political con.”