New HMT figures show public spending on transport at five year low

Taking a coin from a stack
  • London spend per head far higher than the North and Midlands

New analysis of recently released Treasury public spending figures reveals that public spending on transport in London is £545 per head compared with £236 per head (2.3 times higher) for the West Midlands and the North of England combined.

The figures per region are: £213 per head for the North East, £265 for the North West, £246 for Yorkshire and the Humber, and £202 for the West Midlands. The figures also show that public spending per head of population on transport is at a five year low for London, the North, and the West Midlands.

The disparity in public spending on transport between London and the regions is not matched for public spending as a whole, or for spending on education or health. It is also a relatively recent phenomenon rather than the historic norm.

The analysis is entirely based on figures in the Treasury’s 2013 Country and Regional Analysis which is published on HMT’s website here.

Cllr David Wood, who chairs the group of six of the largest transport authorities outside London [1], said:

‘Transport is key to unlocking growth in our cities and we have welcomed government support for transport schemes which benefit our areas – from the overhaul of the Tyne and Wear Metro to the Northern Hub, and from Leeds NGT to Midland Metro. However, what the Treasury’s own public spending figures show is that transport spend per head is declining and, within that spend, London continues to get well over double the level of spend that our regions receive. There is no argument from us that London needs and deserves a high quality transport system.  Any visitor to London can see with their own eyes the scale and benefits of investment – from Oyster cards to the new Routemaster bus, and from the total overhaul of the London Underground to the new London Overground network. All this investment has been key to supporting London’s economic performance. But what holds true for London also holds true for the next tier of major cities which also need to see investment on a similar scale if the UK economy is to be rebalanced.’


For more contact Jonathan Bray on 0113 251 7445 / 0781 804 1485

Notes for Editors

[1] The group represents the transport authorities serving the West Midlands; Merseyside; Greater Manchester; West Yorkshire; Tyne and Wear; and South Yorkshire.