London / regional funding gap widens

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The latest Treasury figures put some numbers on what people see for themselves whenever they visit London - public transport spend per head is three times higher than elsewhere - according to Centro’s Geoff Inskip
The latest Treasury figures put some numbers on what people see for themselves whenever they visit London - public transport spend per head is three times higher than elsewhere - according to Centro’s Geoff Inskip

pteg, the passenger transport executive group has highlighted new Treasury figures which show a “massive transport funding gap” between London and the regions – with spend in London nearing triple the North of England and West Midlands.

Analysis by pteg’s Funding Gap report of the Treasury’s Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses figures for 2010/11 reveals spending on transport in London now stands at £774 per head compared with £285 per head for the West Midlands and the North of England combined.

The gap has widened significantly since the previous years’ figures with spend in London rising from £721 per head to £774 per head, whilst the spend in the West Midlands and North of England has fallen from £302 to £285 per head.

pteg said the disparity in public spending on transport between London and the regions is not matched for public spending as a whole, or for spending on education or health. It is also a relatively recent phenomenon rather than the historic norm.

pteg chairman Geoff Inskip said: “We fully accept London needs and deserves high quality public transport. However, if we are going to rebalance the economy then we need the right balance on transport spending.

“These latest Treasury figures put some numbers on what people see for themselves whenever they visit London, which shows transport spending in the capital has been on an entirely different scale when compared with the next tier of major cities.

Inskip continued: “Government’s support for High Speed Two, for the overhaul of the Tyne and Wear Metro, for Birmingham New Street and the roll out of tram networks like Manchester Metrolink, all show it is supporting public transport in the cities. However, we need to keep up the pace on investment of scale if the funding gap isn’t to continue to grow in a divisive and disproportionate way.”