The latest report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research think-tank reveals that the divide between the Greater South East and the rest of the UK has widened considerably for transport infrastructure investment. The latest National Infrastructure Plan from the government provides just six percent of the funding for Northern England.
The IPPR data shows that other areas of the UK are worse off than Yorkshire as investment is even lower for the East, North East, North West and South West. London and the South East are reportedly to receive £28 billion of funding. Philip Hammond, the previous Transport Secretary stated that investment has to be:
“overlaid with a view about regional equity”
However, Councillor James Lewis, Metro chairman believes that the region is being deliberately starved of funding by the government, which is required for schemes to support growth of the economy and job creation.
Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West has described the amount which has been spent on London as “mind boggling”. He believes the spending inequality has existed for years, with huge sums being invested in Crossrail and Thameslink. Stuart Andrew, Conservative MP for Pudsey said:
“This is a situation that goes back very many years. It’s crucial we see a rebalancing of the amount that’s spent on projects in the North.”
Yorkshire business leaders have been calling for more spending on crucial transport projects to provide a boost for the region’s economy. Although Nick Clegg visited Leeds recently and spoke of distributing growth and rebalancing the economy, spending is still greater in the South East.
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