Government spends £2,700 per person on Londoners' transport, compared with £5 per head in North East

As Boris showed off the new bus for London this weekend, a think tank claimed that the government spends more money on transport projects for Londoners than on those for the rest of the country combined.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has said that there is a “sharp disparity” in transport spending with £2,700 spent per person in London compared with £5 per head in the North East of England.

But considering the fact that London is host to the Olympics next year and it is the biggest city in the UK, isn’t it obvious that London would get a bigger slice of the pie?

The IPPR doesn’t think so. The think tank said that almost half of the 20 biggest taxpayer-funded transport projects benefit only London and the South East.

TRANSPORT SPENDING PER HEAD

  • London - £2,731
  • South East of England - £792
  • East Midlands - £311
  • West Midlands - £269
  • Yorkshire and Humberside - £201
  • North West of England - £134
  • Eastern England - £43
  • South West of England - £19
  • North East of England - £5

Ed Cox, director of IPPR North, said: “Skewed spending benefiting London and the South East is nothing new but these new figures are truly shocking and will strike most people as deeply unfair. Of course every country has a capital city and some of London’s transport infrastructure wouldn’t be happening without the Olympics.

“But if the Government continue to use a system that reinforces the dominance of London and the South East we’ll all be worse off in the long-run as the South becomes more congested while the North continues to fall behind in terms of growth.”

Analysis by IPPR points out that almost half of major transport projects involving public funding benefit only London and the South East, accounting for 84 per cent of planned spending.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Infrastructure investment is key to growth, which is why we have announced £1.4bn of investment in local transport schemes outside London in the last month. We have previously made it clear that the government’s long-term vision for infrastructure includes a high speed rail network connecting North and South. However we cannot ignore the fact that London is the biggest city in the UK and a global capital supporting a large number of people who commute from outside the region.”

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