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A19 campaigner’s anger over Government transport cash as report lays out North-South divide

Traffic on the A19.
Traffic on the A19.

The Government has been urged to give the North East its fair share after it was revealed almost £700 more was spent per Londoner on its transport systems than our roads, rail and buses.

The Transport Spending by Region report prepared by the House of Commons library has set out statistics, detailing the differences in funding across the country.

Easington MP Grahame Morris has said the numbers show an “imbalance” and has said if addressed, the region could benefit from improvements to roads such as the A19 and better public transport.

The Labour member has called for the Department of Transport to carry out an inquiry into safety on the route, which is backed by our Safe A19 campaign.

Figures from the report shows the North East is the second bottom behind Northern Ireland in funding, with a total of £3.15million spent in the five-year period up to the end of the 2016 financial year, compared to £30.64million in London.

A breakdown shows £985,808 of the North East’s cash was spent on local roads, with a further £635,864 spent on “national roads” which include highways and trunk routes.

Of course there’s a potential and need in those areas, but there’s also a huge potential for the North East and the A19, around employment and around developing our economy.

Grahame Morris

The amount spent per head stood at £299 per person on transport during the 2015/16 period, compared to £973 in London.

The majority of cash in London goes into its railway systems, with the report concluding; “Public spending on transport, in both absolute terms and on a per capita basis, is considerably higher in London and the South East than other regions in England.”

It adds it is likely to remain the case, given the higher number of people travelling in and around the capital and the need to keep it running.

Mr Morris said: “There is an immense disparity in population and other variations in terms of transport investment in the North East and the South East of England and London.

“Of course there’s a potential and need in those areas, but there’s also a huge potential for the North East and the A19, around employment and around developing our economy.

“If we got just a fraction of the cash invested in London and other areas it could make a difference.

“The number of accidents on the A19 and the intensity of traffic and the fact it’s a crucial, arterial route through the region means there could and should be more funding going into it.”

Our petition calling for an inquiry can be found via https://goo.gl/8WbEhe.