Chris Grayling: ‘IPPR North report woefully distorts unprecedented investment in Northern transport’

Yorkshire Post 25th January 2018  “Yesterday the Yorkshire Post demanded an unprecedented financial commitment to the North. Today I am proud to confirm that we are delivering exactly that – in fact more investment in Northern transport than any government in history. The article yesterday bemoaned figures about investment in the North, yet it promoted a truly misleading report from IPPR North. I intend to highlight the failures in that report.

But first I must defend our record. By 2020, this Government will have spent over £13bn improving and modernising Northern transport. It was this Government that set in motion the Northern Powerhouse. It was this Government that appointed a Minister to focus on realising the untapped economic potential of our great towns and cities. And it was this Government that established Transport for the North – and provided £60m to develop a comprehensive vision for Northern transport and drive those projects forward. Our commitment to Northern transport has never been stronger, and I believe the evidence is compelling.

I stand by my original point that this Government is delivering unprecedented investment in northern transport. But yesterday’s IPPR North report woefully distorted that investment. By focusing on spending figures beyond 2021, as IPPR North did, they totally ignore several large spending areas, such as rail and road maintenance and renewal. Moreover, their inclusion of Transport for London projects which receive no central government funding appears to be a deliberate attempt to distort our investment in the North. In fact, planned central government transport investment shows that spending in the North per person is higher than in the South – £1,039 compared to £1,029.

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