The Conservative’s like to talk about creating a Northern Powerhouse but their actions show that they are not taking the issue of a North-South divide seriously.
Transport is a clear example of this. If we want the Northern economy to grow and develop we need the infrastructure. Our major Towns and cities need to be better connected. Both businesses and the public need to be able to travel around the region easily and cheaply. Investment is essential to make this a reality.
New analysis by the Institute for Public Policy Research shows that the Department for Transport will spend £289 per person in the North West over the next four years. This contrasts sharply with a figure of £1,870 per person in London.
Giving London residents more than six times the investment of us in the North West can only entrench regional inequality. The spending on London’s Crossrail project alone will be greater than transport investment in the whole of the North.
Anyone can see that areas like Bolton need huge investment in public transport projects. Our trains are overcrowded, our buses are expensive and unreliable and our road network is under strain. Devolution should be a huge opportunity to put this right, but if the Government won’t back this with real investment I fear it will be an opportunity wasted.
You can read the full report by IPPR here: http://www.ippr.org/news-and-media/press-releases/transport-secretary-urged-to-close-1-600-per-person-london-north-spending-gap