Huge huge thanks to more than 50,000 people who have shown their support. You are having an impact as the government is clearly launching a PR response with today's announcement of £15 million for the arts. (Good as the Great Exhibition will be, this is a re-announcement from back in April 2016 - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-35959524). WHat we need though are new funding announcements not spin. Keep sharing and keep people signing. Let's hit 100,000 by the transport summit on 23/8 in Leeds.
To: Rt Hon Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport
More money for transport in the North
Invest properly in transport for the North of England
Why is this important?
We call upon the transport secretary to:
1) Pledge his immediate backing for the Northern Powerhouse Rail programme including a new state-of-the-art 30-minute rail link between Manchester and Leeds – a ‘Crossrail North’;
2) Make an immediate commitment to at least £59 billion ‘catch-up cash’ over the coming decade to support the transport priorities being developed by Transport for the North;
3) Give Transport for the North the same powers as those enjoyed by Transport for London so that it can also raise private finance towards its own transport priorities.
The government has announced its backing for the £31bn Crossrail 2 rail scheme in London just days after it has cancelled plans to electrify key rail routes, and rowed back on its long-standing commitment to electrify the trans-pennine link between Manchester and Leeds. Crossrail 2 was NOT in the Conservative Party Manifesto - whereas Northern Powerhouse Rail was!
New analysis by IPPR North shows that over the past decade public spending on transport in London has been more than double that in the North – the North would have received £59bn more in investment over the last decade if it had received the same per person for transport as London. This is set to get worse, with planned public and public/private expenditure set at nearly £2000 per head, compared with £400 per head in the North BEFORE Crossrail 2 is taken into account.
This is not just a matter of fairness. This is not special pleading. Transport investment needn’t be either/or. But lack of government spending on Northern transport is holding the whole economy back. Northern prosperity is national prosperity.