Crossrail for the North has to be the next national transport priority outlined in the Chancellor’s Budget, Steve Rotheram MP has said.
Labour’s Metro Mayor candidates’ demands come after a report out today by the IPPR think-tank which suggests London will see £1,500 more in transport spending per person than the North of England over the coming years.
IPPR’s analysis reveals that spend on national infrastructure projects indicated that there is a £1,515 per capita gap in investment between London and the North. While the cost for all northern transport projects together will be only £6.6 billion, the capital’s Crossrail alone will cost £8.3 billion from 2015/16 onwards.
The IPPR report also suggests that:
- To fund a new west-east service between the North’s big cities, the Treasury should allow for new Northern Infrastructure Bonds, which would raise capital on projects
- The Transport for the North body should be given TfL-style powers to invest, and the National Infrastructure Commission granted greater room to set infrastructure priorities.
- In its Budget next month, HM Treasury should announce new funding in northern infrastructure, with a view to leveraging private sector funding.
Speaking about the report, Steve Rotheram MP said:
“It is significant that a respected, independent think-tank like the IPPR has endorsed the importance of transport to the Liverpool City Region’s economic prospects.
“Infrastructure investment is key to stimulating the City Region’s post-Brexit economy so the Government cannot turn its back on our area whilst it continues to funnel transport spending to London as it risks widening the North-South divide.
“In the Chancellor’s budget in March, he needs to clearly set out investment for Crossrail for the North as the next national transport priority as it is key to rebalancing the UK economy.
“I want to ensure that the 1.5 million people in the City Region can access apprenticeship and employment opportunities, but we cannot achieve that without the appropriate infrastructure investment and that is what I will be fighting for if I’m elected in May.”