Monday 6 January 2020 5:24 pm

London gets less per capita transport funding than rest of UK, says report

London receives one-third less in government funding per rail passenger journey compared to the rest of the country, according to a new report.

A study by the Greater London Assembly (GLA) into transport expenditure found that London receives £8 per rail passenger journey from central government, compared to £12 for the rest of the UK.

Read more: Rail groups slam TfL admission Crossrail won’t be open until late 2021

This is despite 63 per cent of rail journeys going through the capital at some point.

The report also suggested the capital receives the lowest amount of public expenditure per 1 million of vehicle miles.

London’s deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander said London’s Tube system in particular “desperately needs more investment”.

“If London is going to continue to succeed, Government can’t wash its hands of its responsibilities,” she said.

“Ministers need to start the New Year by promising they will invest in transport infrastructure across our growing city.”

“They need to realise this can’t be a case of pitting one part of the country against the other and they need to recognise the wider benefits to the UK economy of investing in London.”

The findings come despite Boris Johnson pledging to open the taps of investment in the Midlands and the North, while little has been said about London infrastructure projects.

Johnson’s election manifesto pledged £100bn in infrastructure spending, however there was no mention of proposed London projects, such as Crossrail 2, the Bakerloo and Northern line extensions and the Piccadilly line upgrade.

Centre for London research manager Dr Jack Brown said the new report busts the prevailing narrative that London receives a disproportionate amount of government funding.

“Londoners face the longest average commutes and some of the most overcrowded trains, in the country,” he said.

“The capital’s transport needs are neither more or less important than those elsewhere in the country, merely different.

“Investment in one place need not – and cannot – come at the expense of another.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport denied that London was being ignored at the expense of the rest of the country.

They pointed out that London is subject to a different funding scheme, whereby mayor Sadiq Khan is given a portion of business rates revenue to spend on transport.

This means that the government does not hand out a direct subsidy for the capital’s transport networks.

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“The government recognises London’s vital contribution to the UK’s economy and will continue to support its growth and success while also levelling up the rest of the country,” the spokersperson said.

“As the report says, London has benefited from significant public sector investment in transport.”

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