BBC economist to call for transport spending to boost North

Evan Davis
Evan Davis
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EVAN DAVIS will tonight make the case for investment in infrastructure to support the growth of a megacity of the North to rival the success of London.

In the second part of his Mind the Gap series for the BBC, the economist and broadcaster finds evidence of an emerging northern metropolis stretching from Merseyside to Leeds, but spending on transport is badly needed.

The first programme, shown last week, showed how the agglomeration of talent in London led to a lopsided economy. It generated major debate.

Kenton Robbins, the former regional director of the IoD in Yorkshire and a contributor to the series, said the demise of the regional development agency Yorkshire Forward – whatever its faults – has left a void and deprived the region of “a co-ordinator, champion and implementer of a vision of growth”.

Mr Robbins told The Yorkshire Post that the different groups in the region such as the local enterprise partnerships, the city marketing agencies, tourism authorities and manufacturing bodies must work together towards a common vision for Yorkshire.

He also called for greater co-operation with Manchester to deliver a powerful northern metropolis to bridge the North-South divide and counter the ever-increasing centralisation of the UK economy in London.

Mr Robbins raised the issue of greater devolution of powers from Westminster to Yorkshire.

He said: “A Mayor for Yorkshire may be a step too far currently but city regions need clear leaders.”