Group questions Whitehall’s commitment to levelling-up agenda
Transport for the North is calling for the government to review its decision to slash the organisation’s funding.
Documents published by the group reveal its core funding was slashed from £10m to £6m, while in-year funding will be cut from £10m to £7m.
Finance director Iain Craven said: “[The funding] falls substantially short of what we outlined the North would need to level-up infrastructure and accelerate benefits to the region. There is a real worry that this signals a diminishing ambition for the North, rather than pump-priming the region’s economic recovery.
“Our members have clearly indicated the ambition that, over time, TfN should have a greater role and more budget oversight, but the opposite is proposed. Further to the discussion at [the] board [meeting], we would strongly urge that this decision is reviewed.”
|TfN 2021/22 funding allocation||21/22 £’m||Spending review request||20/21 £’m|
|Integrated & Smart Travel (IST)||-||33.4||15.8|
|Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR)||75.0||111.3||75.0|
|Developing an investment pipeline||-||2.0||-|
Commenting on what the decision will mean for the sector, the chief executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Alasdair Reisner, said: “This is very disappointing news and we would urge the government to reconsider pulling promised investment from a body that has done more than any other to develop a cohesive vision for future transport across northern England.
“It is difficult to see how imposing budget cuts on Transport for the North will do anything other than undermine this agenda.”