Yorkshire & Humber being left behind on transport spending

 

More money will be spent by the government on transport projects in London than in the rest of the country combined, according to a new study by a think tank.

 

IPPR North has  published figures which shows 84% of transport spending is set to benefit London and the South East, while only 6% will be spent in the whole of the North of England.

 

Last week Justine Greening, the Tory transport secretary, again delayed giving the go-ahead to a trolley bus scheme in Leeds - a decision which was strongly criticised by Labour shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle, who said:

 

"The government has had more than a year to assess the benefits of the Leeds trolleybus scheme and it is hugely disappointing that they have again failed to give it the green light.

 

"There will be real suspicion that this delay has nothing to do with the merits of the scheme and is simply to push this decision into the next financial year as a result of the government's decision to cut the transport budget too far and too fast.

 

"By signing off almost every single road scheme on her desk but stalling on this vital scheme, the new Secretary of State will raise real fears about her commitment to improving public transport."

 

The figures published by IPPR is further evidence that this government is increasing the north south divide. Commenting on the IPPR report Maria Eagle said:

 

"It's clear that there is a massive regional disparity on transport investment, even accounting for the national benefits that come from ensuring our capital city has a world class transport system.

 

"The Tory-led government could begin to address this unfairness by ending their dithering aver the north-south high speed rail line that we proposed in government and finally give this vital project the green light. "

 

And she suggested that Labour's calls for decisions on transport investment should be taken out of the hands of Ministers and given to those based in the regions:

 

"Ministers should then listen to our call for a major decentralisation of transport spending and decision-making. So long as Ministers are signing off individual road and rail schemes in Whitehall, the in-built government bias to the South East will remain."

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