London gets up to 10 times more transport spending than the north, say new figures

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STOCK Road works in Belgravia, London. Date; Saturday 14th February 2009. Photo credit should read: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

Transport in London is receiving up to 10 times more funding than that in northern regions, according to figures published today.

The Institute for Public Policy Research North's Paying for our Progress report said that nearly £2,000 per person will be spent on London transport projects over the next five years, while projects in Yorkshire and the Humber will receive just £190 per person.

The think tank also said that almost £2bn was being spent on London's Crossrail underground project, despite the fact the same amount would pay for every northern transport project combined.

London's total transport spend between now and 2022 is set to reach £17.7bn – equal to £1,943 per person per year, but the next-largest recipient will be the north-west, which will receive a mere £682 per person per year.

According to The Times, experts believe that the discrepancy is damaging for northern economies, with train times between Liverpool and Hull currently exceeding those between London and Paris.

The IPPR North claims that a so-called HS3 link across the Pennines could create 850,000 new jobs in the region by 2050.

Grace Blakey, who wrote the IPPR North's report, said: "This is about more than money. The north needs to take back control over transport spending too, to sensibly invest in infrastructure projects and unlock more potential."

The director of IPPR North, Ed Cox, echoed that sentiment, saying: "Giving more power to regions to take control over infrastructure is key to creating a country that works 'for everyone'. We're not asking for simple handouts, we're asking for powers to finance this ourselves as London currently does."

Written by James Fossdyke