South West once again at the bottom of Government transport spending agenda

The Peninsula Rail Task Force (PRTF) is calling on the Government to review transport spending for the South West region in light of a recent report by the thinktank the Institute for Public Policy Research North (IPPR North).

Analysis of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2019 by IPPR North has revealed the South West to be one of the worst funded regions for transport spending over the last decade and has consistently fallen in the bottom quartile for annual transport spending per captia.

Cllr Andrea Davis, Chairman of PRTF said: “The IPPR North’s report demonstrates a gross inadequacy of investment across the UK. The PRTF outlined our 20 year plan for investment for the region, we now call on the government to work with us and secure long term investment to address this imbalance.”

Further analysis, by IPPR North, of planned central and local public/private transport infrastructure beyond 2018/19 reports that the South West will be third worst funded region per capita. The region is reported to receive an investment of only £651per capita. This is nearly half that of the North, which is due to receive of £1247per capita, with the imbalance increasing to £2692per capita in the West Midlands, and £3636 in London.

Cllr Davis continues: “Whilst there have been significant improvements to the South West rail network in recent years, including the rollout of the new Hitachi trains and the Governments commitment to resilience works at Dawlish, the government needs to commit to major long term investment to ensure we have a resilient, reliable rail network for the South West Peninsula.”

“The PRTF will continue to work closely with Network Rail, the train operators and the Department for Transport. The South West has the potential to thrive economically but this remains untapped until major infrastructure improvements are introduced.”

Full details of IPPR North’s analysis of ONS figures can be found in their document “Transport investment in the Northern Powerhouse”.