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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 13:54 GMT
North West: Traffic congestion
Steve Rawling
The Politics Show North West

Traffic congestion
Traffic congestion costs industry 3bn

If you were stuck in a traffic jam or crammed onto an overcrowded train on your way into work ... guess what - it is not going to get any better in the near future.

New research findings communicated to The Politics Show reveals that the government is spending less than half as much money per head on transport in the North West compared to London.

So is it any wonder our motorways are so congested; Liverpool is not getting its tram; or that our commuter trains are some of the oldest on the network.

Road congestion costs businesses in the region millions of pounds a year.

It is easy to see what has gone wrong over the years.

Europe has traditionally spent far more on transport than Britain.

Vienna spends around 464 Euros per citizen per year ... compared with just 32 Euros per head in Manchester.

But an alarming new trend is developing.

Spending on transport projects in London is steadily outstripping spending in the North West.

Today Londoners get 667 per person per year while in the North West it is around 295.

According to Department for Transport figures, that gap will grow even wider over the next few years.

Northern cities are not only losing out to Europe, they are losing out to London too.

And there are growing worries that the transport gap is undermining the regional economy.

Liverpool has just had plans for tram systems rejected by the Government. Try commuting by train and it is the same story.

The average age of carriages on the London commuter network is 12 years. But in the North the average commuter train is 17.

And some are even older, they are now well beyond their intended lifespan.

The regional economy has to compete with the world. Good transport is what keeps regional economies competitive. What is happening to the North does not add up.

On The Politics Show, Jim Hancock asks Transport Minister Derek Twigg why the region is losing out to London.

Jim Hancock and Gill Dummigan
Jim Hancock presents Politics Show North West with Gill Dummigan

The Politics Show

Join Jim Hancock and Gill Dummigan on the Politics Show on Sunday 26 February 2006 at 11.55am on BBC One.

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