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Transport spending in London £644 per head

The funding gap between transport spending in London and the regions is widening, according to new analysis of Treasury public spending figures.

Pteg, which represents the passenger transport executives (PTEs) in urban conurbations across the country, found that in London £644 was spent per head on transport in 2011/12. This compares to £223 in the North East, £279 for the North West, £251 for Yorkshire and Humberside and just £198 in the West Midlands.

The disparity, in which London receives 34% of all transport spending in England despite having 15% of England’s population, is not matched for public spending as a whole and is a relatively recent phenomenon, pteg’s analysis suggested.

Chair of pteg, Geoff Inskip – who is also chief executive of the West Midlands transport executive, Centro – said: “We have always been clear London needs and deserves high quality public transport. We also welcome Government funding announcements on a host of transport schemes which will benefit our areas – from HS2 to the Northern Hub and from Leeds NGT to Midland Metro.

“However, what the Treasury’s own public spending figures show is that the spend per head on transport outside London continues to be dwarfed by the spend per head in London. Any visitor to London can see this with their own eyes – from Oyster cards to the new Routemaster bus, and from the total overhaul of the London Underground to the new London Overground network.

“London has made an effective case to Government for high levels of spending on transport and the onus is on us to do likewise. But the starting point for this debate needs to be a recognition that there is a substantial disparity in public spending on transport between London and our cities – a disparity that is not matched in other key areas of public spending. If the UK economy is to be rebalanced then we need to see some rebalancing of the transport spending that underpins the national economy.”

The analysis is entirely based on figures in the Treasury’s 2012 Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (PESA), published on HMT’s website, and covers both day-to-day and capital spending.

The PESA calculates figures for expenditure on services from departmental budgets (less transfers to other parts of the public sector and transactions that do not score as spending in the National Accounts) plus spending by local government and public corporations. Transport spending includes spending on national and local roads, local public transport and railways.

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