Londoners will receive £1,500 more per person in transport investment than those living in the rest of England over the next five years, according to a policy group for the north of England.
A report by IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) North shows that the government will spend an average of £1,943 per person on transport in London, compared with an average of just £303 per person in English regions outside of London.
The chart below shows the full breakdown. The per capita figure shows the average spend from 2016 to 2021.
In general, infrastructure spending is higher in dense, urban areas like London, which largely explains the spending disparity. The other regions listed contain significant expanses of sparsely-populated land.
However, the report says that northwestern England appears to be benefiting from government initiatives to create a “Northern Powerhouse.” The area is set to receive £680 per head of investment in coming years — more than any other region outside London.
Nonetheless, IPPR said the “stark contrast” highlights the need to fund further infrastructure schemes within Northern England. It proposes further projects, including a “High Speed Rail 3” (HS3) scheme, which would link North East and North West of England more speedily.
A previous IPPR report found that HS3 could create 850,000 jobs and generate £97 billion for the British economy by 2050. It suggested such a project was “key to rebalancing the UK economy post-Brexit and in creating a country that works ‘for everyone'” — something Prime Minister Theresa May has placed at the heart of her governing message.
IPPR researcher Grace Blakeley, who authored the report, writes: “It currently takes longer to travel by train from Liverpool to Hull than from London to Paris — building better links between the North’s cities will boost the nation’s economy by driving up northern productivity.”
She added: “The spending gap between London and the North remains huge but this is about more than money, the North needs to take back control over transport spending too, to sensibly invest in a range of northern infrastructure projects and unlock more potential.”