Liverpool Metro Mayor calls for ‘balance in infrastructure investment’ after Crossrail 2 announcement

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling gave public support to the £31bn London scheme on Monday just days after cancelling a number of other major regional rail projects. Tony McDonough reports

The Government is backing London’s £31bn Crossrail 2 project

 

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is calling for a “balanced investment” in infrastructure across the UK after the Government backed London’s Crossrail 2.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling gave public support to the £31bn scheme on Monday.

It came just days after Mr Grayling cancelled a number of rail electrification projects elsewhere in the country, including in the Midlands and South Wales.

Those decisions raised fears over the plan to electrify the trans-Pennine route between Leeds and Manchester.

The announcement Crossrail announcement drew a a sharp response from Greater Manchester Metro Mayor Andy Burnham who spoke of “widespread anger”.

However, on Tuesday Mr Rotheram struck a more measured tone saying the announcement was “a bit of a surprise” but added he did not “begrudge” infrastructure investment in London and the South East.

He said: “Yesterday’s Crossrail 2 announcement from the Transport Secretary comes as a bit of a surprise given it wasn’t included in the Conservative Party manifesto.

“I do not begrudge infrastructure investment in London and the South East but what is needed is balanced investment in infrastructure to support growth in the North as well.

“Rebalancing the UK economy was recognised in both major party manifestos in the recent General Election but this cannot be achieved without the North receiving its fair slice of the transport cake.

“Sadly the juxtaposition of last week’s cancellation of northern rail electrification schemes and this week’s green light for Crossrail, suggests it is just going to be business as usual from this Government when it comes to transport investment.”

Following the Crossrail 2 announcement London Mayor Sadiq Khan claimed the capital receives less funding per transport passenger than the rest of the country, at around £7 per journey compared with more than £10 nationally.

However this was treated with scepticism by many and on Monday, the think tank IPPR North published its own analysis claiming that the North would have received £59bn more in investment over the last decade if it had received the same per person for infrastructure as London.

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