North East leaders call for ‘level playing field’ on Government transport funding

Regional transport committee chairman Coun Martin Gannon wants a level playing field when it comes to the Government’s transport budget for the North East.

 

NORTH East local authority leaders want their ”fair share”, as they look for funding after agreeing to a £6.8billion transport overhaul.

North East Joint Transport Committee chairman Martin Gannon compared London’s £3,636-per-person in transport funding to the North East’s £519.

This is just one-seventh the funding London receives, and Coun Gannon said: “I don’t want anything special: we don’t want the North East to get any more than its fair share, all we want is a level playing field.”

North of Tyne mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “They [the Government] keep telling the whole country how they are leveling us up – here is the shovel-ready scheme they need, they just need to give us the money and we will do it.”

The 243-point regional transport system overhaul intends to extend the Metro system, build two new bridges over the rivers Tyne and Wear, as well as a raft of road, rail, bus, walking, and cycling projects.

The 15-year plan also intends to reuse the derelict Leamside railway line connecting Durham with Pelaw.

The 21-mile stretch of line would bring public rail transport back to Washington for the first time in decades.

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