August 19 2019 @ 16:00 by Alison Cowie
The body responsible for transport in the North East has slammed new planned spending figures as “woeful” and called on the Government to properly fund transport infrastructure in the region to close the gap with London.
Think-tank IPPR North today (Aug 19) published an independent analysis of planned transport spending in the regions stating that the North East will only receive £519 per person, while the capital will receive £3636 – more than seven times more per person.
Responding to the report, Councillor Martin Gannon, chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee and Leader of Gateshead Council, said:“These figures are woeful and highlight the significant gap between spending in the south and north of the country on transport.
“The situation regarding spending on transport is getting worse, not better and must be addressed urgently by Government.
“We are hugely ambitious for the North East and through our Transforming Cities funding bid, are aiming to unlock access to jobs, training and opportunity and drive the whole economy and I am calling on Government to help us achieve this.”
In July, the North East submitted a £377m bid to the Department for Transport to transform the way people travel around the region.
The transforming cities bid, if successful, will be the cornerstone of a £448m programme of investment up to 2023 made up of five key themes:
The programme was drawn up through extensive work by the region’s seven local authorities and transport executive Nexus alongside private sector partners, major developers, academic institutions, walking and cycling groups and public transport operators.
The outline bid is being developed through dialogue with the Department for Transport with a final business case expected to be submitted by the end of November. An announcement on the outcome is expected in early 2020.