Press Story

  • Independent analysis of government figures finds London is set to receive £4,155 per person, 2.6 times more than the North, and almost five times more than Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North East.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber is set to receive £844 per person, the North East will receive £855, and the North West will see £2,439 for transport.
  • Government figures designed to rebalance the books exclude Transport for London spending and all plans after 2020/21.
  • Situation set to get worse after Transport secretary agrees business rates deal with the Mayor of London.

New analysis released today by the leading think-tank for the North of England, IPPR North, has found that London will receive £4,155 per person, compared to £1,600 in the North. A gap of £2,555 per person.

This means that planned transport investment in London is almost 2.6 times higher per person than in the North. Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East are the English regions set to receive the least planned transport spending.

The new independent analysis comes after government published its own regional breakdown before Christmas and wrote to MPs claiming it had reversed the historical trend.

IPPR North has commended the government for sharing new data and producing its own “official analysis” of the national infrastructure pipeline but it claims many will find government figures misleading as less than half of planned spending is included.

Crucially, the government analysis excludes all spending which takes place after 2020/21 despite the infrastructure pipeline being a long-term planning tool.

Nearly £12 billion Transport for London spending is also excluded following a deal between the Transport secretary, Chris Grayling, and London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, allowing London to keep its own business rates to spend on transport. The deal means that London will no longer contribute to transport spending in the rest of the country and stands to benefit by £240 million next year and more in the years after.

Senior Research Fellow at IPPR North, Luke Raikes, said:

“Despite the Transport Secretary’s recent statements, London is still set to receive almost three times more transport investment per person than the North. This is indefensible.

“The North has been underfunded in comparison to London for decades, and our figures demonstrate that ministers have failed to redress this imbalance. This failure will continue to hold back the North and the country until the government acts.

“The government has improved their analysis of these figures but they have then excluded almost half of the spending for which they are responsible. A disproportionate amount of that excluded money is for London.

“Instead of disputing the figures the government needs to invest in the big, transformative projects being developed in the North such as Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“The government is making Transport for the North a statutory body but it must give it similar powers to Transport for London so that it can encourage business investment and borrow for its own infrastructure instead of going cap in hand to central government.”



Rosie Corrigan, Media and Campaigns Manager for IPPR North, on 07585772633 or


IPPR North is the leading think-tank for the North of England, developing bold ideas for a stronger economy and great public services to really take back control in the North. For more information, visit

Today’s briefing follows the news that Transport for the North has become a sub-regional statutory body, which last week published its Strategic Transport Plan.

Last year IPPR North created a petition calling for investment in Northern transport, which has received almost 88,000 signatures.

Government’s own analysis of the National Infrastructure Pipeline can be found here. Whilst they have not published all the data that they used, IPPR North met with representatives of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority in order to understand the Government’s methodology.

IPPR North analysis of planned central and local public/private transport infrastructure spending 2017/18 onwards (real terms 2016/17 prices)






West Midlands



North West



All regions



North (NW, NE, Y&H)



South East



East Midlands



East of England



South West



North East



Yorkshire and the Humber



Source: IPPR North analysis of HM Treasury and the IPA 2017.