Headlines: February 27th, 2012

MPs on the cross party Transport Select Committee have warned the Government it must do more to show that transport expenditure plans involve a fair allocation of resources across the nation.

The Committee’s report shows that they were given evidence claiming that 84 per cent of planned new infrastructure spending was aimed at London and the south east, compared to just 6 per cent in northern England. The average spend per head in London works out at £2,731 compared to £5 per head in north east England.

Other evidence presented shows £774 is spent on transport for every Londoner, compared to less than £300 spending per head in Yorkshire and Humberside, the West Midlands and north east England.

The DfT response to the Committee was that the evidence presented to them was based on an incomplete analysis. It was also claimed that funding from the regional growth fund had not been taken into account.

Louise Ellman MP, chair of the Transport Select Committee said, “Although we welcome the additional investment in road and rail infrastructure projects announced in the Autumn Statement, there is still concern that the regions are not as well provided for as London and the south east. We also have real concerns about how those projects were chosen. A project’s readiness to proceed does not necessarily demonstrate that it is the best way of using public money to promote growth.”

She added: “Ministers also need to provide much more information about how the department’s funding of the Regional Growth and Growing Places Funds has been used.”