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London hogging too much transport investment

Tue, 03 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0700

THE UNDERFUNDING of transport projects outside London in recent years "cannot be allowed to continue", says a report from MPs.

Ministers must use the new funding arrangements for local projects to "ensure that there is a fairer allocation of funding", said the report from the House of Commons Transport Committee.

"No area across our nation should be second class in relation to the allocation of transport infrastructure funds," the MPs said.

The report looked into new arrangements, from 2015, for local decisions on transport spending.

Launching the report today , the committee's chairman Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, said: "Far less money is spent on transport projects outside London than in the capital. This inequality has gone on for too long and has to change.

"For example, IPPR (the Institute of Public Policy Research) says that transport infrastructure spending is £2,500 per head in London compared with £5 per head in the North East.

"Even on the Government's figures, transport spending per head in London is more than twice that in the English regions."

She went on: "The Government has again changed the system for distributing money to local areas for major transport projects, with much more emphasis now on competition for funding. This will not necessarily help regions get a fairer share of transport funding and could make the situation worse.

"Those Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) which are well organised and resourced will have an advantage in bidding for funds. Other areas may lose out as a result. In addition, with greater reliance on competitive bidding for funds, we will see more money wasted on failed bids."

By Peter Woodman, Press Association Transport Correspondent