Infrastructure is at the heart of the Government’s economic strategy, and our investment will boost productivity and growth. Since 2010, more than £250 billion has been spent on public and private sector infrastructure.
The biggest investments in transport infrastructure in generations, including the Ordsall rail curve in Greater Manchester, have been made possible by this Government. Will my hon. Friend commit to further investment in our rail network, particularly on local commuter routes through my constituency?
My hon. Friend makes a good point. This Government have committed to the largest rail investment programme since Victorian times, including a £55.7 billion investment in High Speed 2. He will be aware of the Chancellor’s announcement in Manchester last month of £300 million to improve connectivity to High Speed 2 across the northern region.
A decent transport infrastructure is an essential platform for economic growth, but the Minister will be aware that public transport investment in the north-east is only £200 per head, whereas it is £2,000 per head in London. Will he now commit to investing in the north-east on the Tyne and Wear metro, and with public money, not some private finance initiative?
The Government are committed to increasing infrastructure investment across all regions, including the north-east. Indeed, investment is 30% higher than it was under the Labour Government. It would be better for Opposition Members to recognise the record investment in infrastructure, which is driving productivity and growth.
The investment going to the west midlands as part of the midlands engine and through the devolution deal is part of wider investment—the £23 billion of investment that has been announced through the national productivity investment fund. The hon. Gentleman will be aware of the Secretary of State for Transport’s announcement on rail spending between 2019 and 2024, which includes the £24 billion announced just last week.