Top think tank calls for regional investment overhaul

 

The North receives six times less investment in infrastructure than London, a spending gap that should be addressed with a ‘North first’ investment policy from the new Government, according to analysis from a leading economic think tank.

IPPR found that the North will get average £280 per person compared with London’s £1,870, based on outlined Government spending plans for transport infrastructure between 2016/17 and 2020/2021. 

The think tank highlighted that the total spend on Crossrail alone will be £4.6bn during this period, exceeding spending on all projects in the North (£4.3bn), and has written to transport secretary Chris Grayling to call for a change of policy. 

”Local
Table from IPPR

With per capita analysis based on 2011 commuter figures, IPPR found that England's North East will see £304 per person, the North West £289, Yorkshire & Humber £247, and London £1,869, for key infrastructure between 2016/17 and 2020/21.

However, in other regions to gap gets even worse with the East Midlands coming last in England for just £193 and the South West on £219.

Ed Cox, director of IPPR North, said: ‘To build Theresa May’s "Better Britain", we must focus on a better North. The North of England’s £300bn economy is worth more than those of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined.

'Focussing on this is going to be critical in creating the prosperity our country is going to need over the coming years.'

Mr Cox went on to call for more financial devolution, arguing that the North must ‘take control of its own funding decisions' as ‘local decision-making is closely linked to growth rates’.

IPPR highlighted that ‘if we could only halve the output gap between the North and the national average then the economy would be £34bn better off’.

This is combined with stark criticism of central government economic analysis. The IPPR stated that there is ‘strong emerging evidence that the way the Treasury calculates the economic “return” on infrastructure investment is seriously flawed’.

Mr Cox described HM Treasury’s modelling as ‘outdated and ineffective’ and ‘better suited to mitigating congestion than driving new economic growth’.

‘New ways of assessing the benefits of transport schemes, and devolving 10-year budgets, will make for much more effective long-term planning,’ IPPR stated.

This is one of several recommendations IPPR made to Government. Other calls included:

  • Using record-low interest rates to raise £50bn 'catch-up cash' to invest in northern road and rail priorities
  • Work to be brought urgently forward on the so-called 'HS3' (east-west crossing) – even if this means taking priority over HS2 (north-south)
  • Ensuring the passage of the Buses Bill through Parliament
  • Introducing a new Clean Air Act for major cities to tackle toxic air, which kills 40,000 people a year and costs the NHS and the wider economy more than £20bn a year
 

Also see

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Bridge Park Operations Manager

Brent Council
£38,799 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
This is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in managing the operations and contributing towards the... Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council