Metro Chairman responds to new transport funding gap figures

Responding to Treasury figures released yesterday which show transport spend in London is now almost triple that in Yorkshire and Humberside, Metro Chairman Cllr James Lewis said:

“While we accept that London has special needs in relation to transport, the Leeds City Region also has specific requirements which year after year go largely unmet.

“Every year we go through the Department for Transport’s ever-more-lengthy, complicated and expensive application procedures for the essential transport projects needed to keep this region moving and combat ever increasing congestion, and yet we keep seeing funding diverted to other regions, mostly in the south.

“This cannot continue and the Government needs now to put its money where its mouth is and provide funding for some of our most urgently needed transport projects such as the New Generation Trolleybus network, new rail stations at Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge, and the essential maintenance needed to keep the Leeds inner ring road safe for use.

“Instead of reducing funding in Yorkshire and Humberside from £285 to £276 per head, just £7.70 more per person over five years, would allow these essential and desperately-needed transport projects to go ahead, helping to safeguard the future prosperity of our region and to at last begin to check the escalating north south imbalance.

“The Government has no chance of meeting its stated aim of rebalancing the national economy while this slide towards ever increasing spend in the south is matched by reductions in spending in the north.”

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