May­nard de­fends Lon­don’s rail spend­ing lev­els

Rail (UK) - - News -

The sheer num­ber of visitors and work­ers in Lon­don is a prin­ci­pal rea­son for a big­ger spend per head on rail in the cap­i­tal than in the North, or the na­tional av­er­age.

Rail Min­is­ter Paul May­nard (MP for Black­pool North and Cleve­leys) de­fended the lev­els of spend­ing in a Com­mons Writ­ten Re­ply to Mike Hill (Labour, Hartle­pool), who had asked about the si­t­u­a­tion.

May­nard claimed that the De­part­ment for Trans­port fo­cuses on de­liv­er­ing out­comes for trans­port users, not on how much is spent per head.

He said: “There are var­i­ous prob­lems with at­tempt­ing to com­pare trans­port spend­ing on a spend per head of re­gional res­i­dent pop­u­la­tion ba­sis.

“The cal­cu­la­tion for Lon­don, for ex­am­ple, doesn’t ac­count for the sub­stan­tial num­ber of daily com­muters and visitors, both do­mes­ti­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally, who will be us­ing and ben­e­fit­ing from the roads and pub­lic trans­port net­works but who aren’t Lon­don res­i­dents.”

May­nard said that two in ev­ery three rail jour­neys start or end in Lon­don, and that there are 18 times more pas­sen­gers ar­riv­ing in the cap­i­tal than Manch­ester, which is the busiest city in the North.

He added: “In par­tic­u­lar, as the main in­ter­na­tional gate­way into and out of the coun­try, Lon­don will be the lo­ca­tion for trans­port in­vest­ments which look to serve pas­sen­gers well be­yond the lo­cal res­i­dent pop­u­la­tion. The unique scale and ur­ban den­sity of Lon­don also means that large-scale pub­lic trans­port net­works are par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant.”

May­nard said that DfT de­ci­sions re­gard­ing fund­ing al­lo­ca­tions are based on “a rig­or­ous and fair ap­praisal process that en­sures spend­ing goes to the projects and pro­grammes where it is most needed and de­liv­ers great­est val­ue­for-money for both tax­pay­ers and pas­sen­gers”.

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