Transport investment decisions are made based on a rigorous and fair appraisal process that ensures that spending goes where it is needed and delivers greatest value for money. Recent analysis by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority suggests that, in contrast to the five years leading up to 2010, planned central Government transport capital spending per head between 2017-18 and 2020-21 is expected to be higher in the north than in the south. That includes, as the hon. Lady will be pleased to learn, £337 million for new Tyne and Wear Metro rolling stock in her constituency.
Since 2010, transport spending in London has been more than twice that in the whole of the north, and the Government’s own northern powerhouse says that underinvestment stops us exploiting strengths in manufacturing, energy, health and digital, which could transform the lives of my constituents. The Minister’s own Transport for the North says that it will cost £27 billion to transform the north’s economy by taking advantage of those strengths: will he commit to funding it?
We are undertaking unprecedented investment in the north of England—£13 billion, which is the largest in Government history. Of course, we want to do more to ensure that we are building proper transport links and growing the northern powerhouse, which is why we have created Transport for the North and put it on a statutory footing. Over the recess, I was delighted to attend its very first board meeting as a statutory body.