The Great North/South Transport Divide
Figures reveal that the UK Government spends six times more per person on transport in London than the North.
As Northerners, there’s somewhat of a given right for us to have a ‘bee in our bonnet’ about various North/South divide issues, but you may be surprised about the extent of the divide when it comes to travel.
If you’ve been to our country’s incredible capital city, you’ll know that there are taxis everywhere, smart red buses introduced by Boris Johnson and a vast Tube network.
If you live in the North East and have travelled by train of late, you’ll know that our services and vehicles just don’t quite seem up to scratch.
There’s actually a financial reason for that.
“A new analysis reveals that the Department for Transport will spend just £280 per person in the North over the next four years of Conservative government – compared with £1,870 per person in London.”
In hopes to clear up the toxic air of London and reduce pollution levels in the capital, Transport for London has introduced more electric buses to its current fleet, totalling 73 – the largest fleet of electric buses in Europe.
The buses will feature USB ports so that people can plug their phones into the backs of 12 seats and the rear of each bus.
It’s reckoned that, ‘around 20 per cent of London’s buses are already hybrid electric buses, with eight zero emission hydrogen buses in operation’ (Source: Independent).
In general, there are major transport improvements across the country, including Nottingham’s extended tram network, the Manchester Metrolink now reaching the airport and the overhaul of Birmingham New Street.
However, these still seem insignificant alongside London’s Tube upgrades, Crossrail and revamped stations across London, as well as fully integrated Oyster smartcards.
Is the tide turning?
Of course there have been lots of whispers and excitement over Hitachi choosing Newton Aycliffe as its UK production base and the much-discussed High Speed 2 (HS2), a planned high-speed railway in the United Kingdom linking London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester.
However, this rail link doesn’t quite reach us in the North East and, in recent months, there have been numerous incidents with the Tyne & Wear Metro system grinding to a halt.
What do you think? Is there really a North/South divide and what would it take to bring the North up to speed? Start the discussion with us on Facebook and Twitter.
- If you’d like to book a taxi rather than endure public transport, call us on 01207 230 000 (Stanley), 01207 591 000 (Consett) or 0191 3 06 06 06 (Durham).