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North East massively underfunded on public transport, say Lib Dems

August 10, 2009 1:40 PM

PEOPLE living in the north east are missing out on vital transport funding, the Liberal Democrats have claimed.

The party says public transport spending is more than two-thirds higher in London, per person, than in the North. Londoners receive £826 per head on public transport funding, compared to just £235 in the North East.

The report also found:-

  • In 2008/9, London made up 15 per cent of the nation's population but 37 per cent of transport funding;
  • Government funding in London's public transport has risen by 57 per cent in five years, compared to the North where funding has risen by just 25 per cent.

Lib Dem spokesman for Newcastle East Greg Stone, a member of the Tyne & Wear Integrated Transport Authority said: "It's time for the Department for Transport (DfT) to realise that there is life beyond the M25. This government is letting down the regions. Transport funding outside London is just a fraction of that within the capital and the lack of investment is preventing the creation of an affordable and reliable public transport system.

"Instead of starving the regions of funding, we need a major programme of railway improvements, re-opening closed railway lines and a high speed rail service to Scotland and the North, improving services and creating thousands of green jobs."