Abandoned! Graph shows £515 more spent per person on transport in London than the north

Grant Shapps announces updated plans for HS2 rail development

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A new report from the IPPR North think tank has published new independent analysis of transport spending over the past decade. Between 2009/10-2019/20, the North received just £349 per person in transport spending. In comparison, the UK whole received £430 per person, while London received a staggering £864 per person. This news comes on the same day that the Integrated Rail Plan has been published and reveals the true extent of broken promises to the people of the North over many years.

It means if the North had received the same amount of transport investment as London over the last 10 years, it would have received a staggering £86billion more.

IPPR North said this amount is higher than Transport for the North’s 30-year £70billion transport investment plan, which said could create some 850,000 new jobs and unlock potential in the North’s economy by £3.4 billion Gross value Added (GVA) per annum.

The report also claimed if the North had received the same level of transport investment as London since the launch of the Northern Powerhouse agenda in 2014/15, it would have received £51billion more.

Meanwhile, the think tank said the £96billion Integrated Rail Plan (IRP), which details the Government’s proposals to “transform the rail network in the North and Midlands”, contains £56billion already earmarked for HS2 – leaving just £40billion to be split between the North and Midlands.

IPPR North said: “Therefore, researchers at IPPR North say the evidence shows that during the Northern Powerhouse and Levelling Up period, ‘the only thing that ‘levelled up’ was the transport investment gap’ which has gone from £451 per person in 2014/15 to £523 in 2019/20.

Elsewhere, the report reveals the East Midlands and South West have received “significant under-investment”, with just £258 and £270 respectively spent per person over the same decade-long period.

The North East received the lowest transport spending at an average of just £310 per person, with Yorkshire and the Humber receiving £328 and the North West £379.

This huge gap in transport spending per person between London and the North of England will no doubt call into question the “Levelling up” strategy from Boris Johnson and his Government.

IPPR North research fellow Marcus Johns said: “The Integrated Rail Plan appears to be a levelling down of government’s commitment to the North.

“Not only does it break the Prime Minister’s own promises and his manifesto pledges, but it also breaks many years’ worth of plans and assurances to the north of England.

“The North is now reliant on creaking Victorian infrastructure that undermines its economy, its people’s quality of life and its ability to reduce emissions.

“A good transport network requires both strong strategic national rail links and high-quality local transport, the North shouldn’t have to take one or the other.

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“It is time for a U-turn. Nothing else will do.

“Government must commit to delivering Northern Powerhouse Rail, HS2’s Eastern Leg, and local transport improvements, or face the anger of a betrayed North.”

Detailed in the IRP is the the extension of HS2 from the East Midlands to Leeds will be scrapped, with HS2 trains instead running on existing lines, while Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) between Leeds and Manchester will be a mix of new track and enhancements to existing infrastructure.

There are also plans afoot to fully electrify the Midland Main Line and the Transpennine route, and also upgrade the East Coast Main Line.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insisted the IRP would slash journey times across Northern England and the Midland with 110 miles of new high-speed line.

But the Labour Party has claimed the package abandons previous assurances given on the extension of HS2 and NPR.

Shadow Transport Secretary Jim McMahon told MPs in the House of Commons: “There is no amount of gloss, no amount of spin that can be put on this.

“He promised HS2 to Leeds, he promised Northern Powerhouse Rail, he promised that the North would not be forgotten. But he hasn’t just forgotten us, he has completely sold us out.”

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