Better transport spend in NI than English areas

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Most English regions are getting an even rawer deal than Northern Ireland in terms of investment in transport infrastructure although we suffer the worst per capita spend on rail and road links of all the constituent countries of the United Kingdom.

That’s according to new research compiled by the right-wing lobby group and think tank, the Taxpayers’ Alliance, which has calculated the total capital spend on transport by region throughout the United Kingdom between 2010/11 to 2014/15.

Whilst Northern Ireland, where there was a per capita spend of £805.8, trails Scotland (£1,240.9 ); Wales (£917.2) and England (£902.9), it’s better off than most of the peripheries of England.

Better off, for example, than the South West (£607.2); North East (£631.2); East Midlands (£651.4); South East (£698.7); West Midlands (£701.3); Yorkshire and Humber (£774.2); and the North West (£804.6).

However, London, where £1,827.6 was spent per person - over twice the spend in Northern Ireland and three times the spend in the West Country - skewed the overall England figure upwards.

The figures were produced by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, in opposition to the HS2 rail link between London and the North of England, which it estimates, could cost £87.95 billion, by the time the project is complete.

The group claimed investment in railways would disproportionately benefit richer people.

“It is also the relatively affluent who use rail travel the most,” the group claimed.

“Households in the highest income quintile took almost double the number of national rail trips per year (43) than the fourth quintile (22) and four times more than the lowest income quintile (10 trips per year) in 210,447.

”The new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, once acknowledged that rail users tend to be relatively wealthy, saying that trains are ‘rich man’s toys.’”