Rising fairs and continued lack of investment in rail – despite repeated promises from successive Tory Governments – a “betrayal” of northern voters, says Alex

The Transport Secretary’s announcement that he will break his promise on Northern Powerhouse Rail has been slammed by Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, as a further betrayal of northern voters after it emerged that transport spending per head in London is over double that of spending per head in the North East.

New analysis has shown that:

  • Transport spending per head is over double in London than it is in the North of England, with £877.76 spent per head in London compared to £314.11 per head in the North East in 2019/20.*
  • Rail fares are set to skyrocket by their highest increase in a decade next year, meaning commuters such as those going between Thornaby and Newcastle will be paying £1,633 more for an Annual Season Ticket than they did in 2010.**

Northern Powerhouse Rail has been committed to more than 60 times by successive Tory governments after George Osborne first announced the plans in 2014.

Alex, who recently pressed the Rail Minister for further investment in rail services and infrastructure across the Tees Valley, said:

“It’s completely unacceptable that people in Stockton North and Teesside, who have had to put up with old, inadequate rail stock and poor connectivity for too long, and will now likely face a record increase in rail fares in a few months’ time, paying more than 50% more to get to work than a decade ago.

“Instead of taking action on the cost-of-living crisis affecting people here in Teesside and fixing the transport problems they created, the Government are looking the other way, trapping us in a cycle of regional inequality, high tax and low growth.

“It’s laughable and insulting to expect people in to be satisfied with watered down schemes and crumbs from the table, after putting their faith in a Prime Minister who has gone back on his word at every opportunity.”

Notes: *Per head spending can be found here. **2022 are based on a 4.8% increase on 2021 prices which have been taken from the National Rail season ticket calculator.