Transport funding for North still losing out to London

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The North-South divide in Government transport funding is growing wider still as a new analysis of Treasury public spending figures shows it has fallen in Yorkshire while rising in London.

Spending on the region’s road, rail and bus network has fallen from £265 to £251 per head this year while increasing from £642 to £644 in the capital, according to a report by the Passenger Transport Executive Group (pteg).

James Lewis, chairman of West Yorkshire transport authority Metro, said the figures showed a “continued legacy of under-spending” in Yorkshire.

He added that the Department for Transport backing given to the Leeds Trolleybus network, new railway stations at Apperley Bridge and Kirkstall Forge, and the Leeds Station southern entrance represented only “a very recent and partial redress of an ongoing spending shortfall”.

“We have much wider, far-reaching ambitions for developing and integrating West Yorkshire’s bus, rail and road networks and to achieve this we need not only the investment but also the flexibility and ability to raise funds locally rather than the continued legacy of under-spending that these new annual figures show,” he said.

The Yorkshire Post is calling for a fairer share of transport funding for the county as part of its Give us a Fair Deal campaign.

Geoff Inskip, chairman of pteg, said: “There is a substantial disparity in public spending on transport between London and our cities – a disparity that is not matched in other key areas of public spending. If the UK economy is to be rebalanced then we need to see some rebalancing of the transport spending that underpins the national economy.”