London gets 520 times more transport cash than the North


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Indy Politics

The Government was last night accused of opening up a fresh "North-South divide", after new figures showed Londoners were being allocated more money per head on transport spending than all of the other regions combined.

Analysis of the current National Infrastructure Plan, carried out by the think-tank IPPR North, indicates transport spending amounted to £2,600 per head for the capital's residents, 520 times the £5 spent per head in the North-east.

The report, part of a wider analysis completed in advance of this week's government spending review, also found that 33 transport projects are in the pipeline for London and the South-east, compared with just three for the North-east; and that eight of the top 10 most expensive regional projects were allocated to the London and the South-east.

"Skewed spending is nothing new but these figures will strike most people as deeply unfair," said Ed Cox, director of IPPR North. "The problem is that they will continue to hold back northern economic prosperity and widen the yawning productivity gap between the capital and the rest of the nation."

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said the Government was "investing significantly in the North", with £384m of road improvements and £199m on regional and sustainable transport projects: "However, we cannot ignore the fact that London is the biggest city in the UK. Transport investment will ensure the maximum economic benefit to the UK as a whole – by investing in the regions as well as ensuring that major cities are able to compete in the world economy."