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Transport infrastruture outside of London could miss out on vital funding

  • 03 June 2014
  • By Hayley Pink

Transport infrastructure outside of the capital could suffer when the government launches a new system next year to allocate funding for major local transport projects, an inquiry by the Commons Transport Select Committee has found.

Louise Ellman MP, chair of the committee, said today (3 June): “Far less money is spent on transport projects outside London than in the capital. This inequality has gone on for too long and has to change.”

She added that think-tank the Institute for Public Policy Research calculates transport infrastructure spending per head in London to be £2,500, and in the North-East only £5. “Even on the government’s figures, transport spending per head in London is more than twice that in the English regions,” said Ellman.

From 2015, the system for distributing money for local projects costing more than £5m, will place far more emphasis on competition for funding, in a bid to bring in more private sector finance. However, the Transport Committee is concerned this could disadvantage those regions where there tends to be less private sector money available, compared with London.

“In addition, with greater reliance on competitive bidding for funds, we will see more money wasted on failed bids,” said Ellman.

The Transport Committee is calling on the government to make sure that significant schemes, such as providing better access for ports, do not get overlooked, and that areas covered by a number of Local Enterprise Partnerships do not miss out on funds due to fragmentation.

It wants the new funding arrangements to be reviewed by the end of the next parliament to ensure they are efficient and effective in providing funding for the most urgent transport priorities,

Full details of the Transport Committee’s inquiry – Local Transport Expenditure. Who decides? – are available online.


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