The Government are committed to investing in infrastructure to support regional growth, and that is why we are addressing under-investment in the north with the biggest investment programme for a generation. The Infrastructure and Projects Authority’s analysis shows that between 2018 and 2021, central Government transport spend per head is in fact highest in the north-west.
The Transport Select Committee has found that a disproportionate amount of transport funding is being spent in the capital, at the expense of the regions. What steps will the Minister take to close the gap and to specifically address issues highlighted by my hon. Friend the Member for Jarrow (Mr Hepburn), including the “Safe A19” campaign, the Seaton Lane A19 junction improvement and ensuring that east Durham gets a rail halt at Horden?
The Government are investing substantial sums in the north—£13 billion in the five years to 2020—and in the next control period for rail, we will invest £2.9 billion on the trans-Pennine upgrade alone. The hon. Gentleman, I am afraid, is factually wrong to say that Government investment per head in London and the south exceeds that of similar investment in the north. IPA analysis shows that for the three years to 2021, the north will receive £1,039 per head, which is £10 more than similar figures for the south of England.[Official Report, 9 July 2018, Vol. 644, c. 4MC.]