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Johnson's insistence that Government investment in transport be
further focused on the capital, at the cost of Yorkshire and Humber
and the other regions, is dangerous for the economy Metro Chairman
Cllr James Lewis said today.
"Rather than supplying the 'locomotive' of the UK economy, as Mr
Johnson claims, London is in danger of blowing a valve and
jeopardising the recovery," warned Cllr Lewis in response to the
London Mayor's speech today.
"Concentrating investment in infrastructure to support the
future of the UK's economy around one over-heated and over-crowded
corner of the country does not make sense and is unsustainable," he
said. "Transport Minister Philip Hammond has said himself that
investment needs to be 'overlaid with a view about regional
"We have never disputed that, as the capital, London is a
special case but Government transport investment in our region last
year stood at £272 per head compared with £802 per head
in London equating to an annual difference of £1.35bn.
"It is time for the legacy of underspending by successive
governments to be redressed.
"Final bids have been submitted to the Department for Transport
for the planned trolleybus network, new rail stations at Kirkstall
Forge and Apperley Bridge and much-needed repairs to the Leeds
inner Ring Road," continued Cllr Lewis.
"These schemes will support the creation of private sector jobs
that will be filled by people from across West Yorkshire and
beyond, helping to deliver the Government's objective of
rebalancing the economy.
"Boris Johnson was right in his speech today when he said that
the world's future lay in cities, but it's in cities which still
have the capacity for growth, like Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield
and towns like Halifax and Huddersfield and what we now need is the
investment to make that growth possible."
Support local transport schemes using the simple form
on the Campaign for Better Transport's website.
In his speech today Mr Johnson urged the Government not to scrap
spending projects in the capital insisting that London could drive
Britain's economic recovery if transport investment