Northern passengers are right to be angry at the Rail North-South Divide.
The north still uses old Pacer trains, built from the body of buses, that were intended to be merely a short-term solution to a shortage of rolling stock in the 1980s. While we see the new electric Class 710 trains gliding across the southern skylines commuting workers into the capital. The massive investment continually rolled out favouring London gives little chance for any respite in building a modem infrastructure outside London.
The disproportionate investment makes a mockery of the concept and creation of a Northern powerhouse again reality shows in the amount of investment the North is set to receive £2,389 less per person than London on transport
The North is set to lose out compared to London when it comes to transport funding, according to a report we see the continued let down.
Northern rail passengers are rightly angry at this latest revelation. But they should be even angrier at the long history of neglect, underinvestment and duplicity from ministers in London.
The Government plans to spend almost three times more per head on London than the north. Revealed: North set to receive £2,389 less per person than London on transport
- New analysis of the government’s planned transport spending shows that, unless investment in the Northern Powerhouse goes ahead, London is set to receive almost 3 times more per person than the North; and 7 times more per person than in Yorkshire and the Humber or the North East
- While the capital will receive £3,636 per person, the North will receive just £1,247 per person and within the North, Yorkshire and the Humber will see just £511; the North East £519; and the North West £2,062 per person
- Meanwhile, analysis of past transport spending shows that if the North had seen the same per person investment as London over the last decade, it would have received £66 billion more
IPPR North has published a new independent analysis of regional transport spending in England. It sets out the true extent of underfunding in Northern transport infrastructure both in the past, and under government’s current plans for the future.
The report shows a comprehensive picture of planned spending included in the most recent edition of the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline – a list of the government’s planned infrastructure projects between now and 2033.
Examining the government’s own figures, the leading think-tank found that planned transport spending on the capital is set to be £3,636 per person, compared to £1,247 on the North. Yorkshire and the Humber will receive the least of all of England’s regions at just £511 per person, followed closely by the North East at £519 per person; the North West will receive £2,062 per person. This does not include Northern Powerhouse Rail or recent overspend on Crossrail, which were not included in the pipeline.
In contrast, the government’s own analysis of the same pipeline includes just £40.2 billion of the £117.6 billion total transport investment it contains*, meaning the government exclude two thirds of planned transport spending from their own calculations. A disproportionate amount of the government’s excluded spending is in London– their analysis only includes 14.2 per cent of planned spending in the capital.
The report also analyses a separate set of government figures that show past spending. IPPR North found that the transport spending gap between the capital and the North grew over the last decade. Spending increased by 2.5 times more per person on London than on the North. In fact, if the North had received the same transport spending per person as London over the last decade, it would have received £66 billion more than it did.
Report author Luke Raikes called on the new Prime Minister to “turn years of Northern Powerhouse rhetoric into reality” by taking urgent action to invest in the North and devolve powers to Northern leaders and Transport for the North. IPPR North has also recommended that Phase 2 of HS2 must begin in the North so that Northern Powerhouse Rail can be accelerated using its infrastructure.
Luke Raikes, Senior Research Fellow at IPPR North said:
“These figures show that the prime minister must urgently follow through on his promises to invest in northern transport infrastructure and devolve power to the North’s leaders.
“The Northern Powerhouse agenda could benefit people across the whole country. Northern transport infrastructure is a national priority.
“The upcoming spending review offers a real opportunity for the government to turn years of Northern Powerhouse rhetoric into reality, and to finally deliver on promises made to the North.”
Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald said: ‘The North is held back by Government under-investment in transport and a lack of powers over public transport, including poor rail connectivity and cuts to bus services.
‘Labour will build a Crossrail for the North and deliver powers and funding for bus services to close the North-South divide in transport.’
Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, said the report should make ’embarrassing reading for the Government’.
He said: ‘In the five years since they first promised us a Northern Powerhouse, the transport spending gap between North and South has widened and is set to get even wider over the next decade.
We hear a lot of rhetoric from the Government on the North. But @IPPRNorth today reveals the reality. Nothing much has changed. Unless the new PM delivers soon on his commitments, the Northern Powerhouse will go down as a giant political con. https://t.co/K0jWXFlpBA
— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) 19 August 2019
‘So far, Government promises to the North have proved to be about as reliable as our trains. To be fair, the new Prime Minister has recognised our frustration and made new commitments. It is essential that he now backs up his words with action.
‘As Mayor of London, he successfully argued for new funding and powers over transport for the Capital. As Prime Minister, he must now deliver exactly the same for the North of England.’
A Government spokeswoman said: ‘We do not recognise these misleading figures – we’re spending more on transport per person in the North than anywhere else.
‘We are committed to reversing decades of under-investment in northern transport including providing a record £13 billion by 2020 to improve transport networks in the North.
‘As the Prime Minister recently set out, this Government wants to drive growth across the North including through Northern Powerhouse Rail, giving local leaders greater powers and investing £3.6 billion in towns across England.’