Sheffield’s transport infrastructure is not fit for the 21st century – that was the message from South Yorkshire metro mayor Dan Jarvis as figures showed people were spending less on public transport than two years ago.
Mr Jarvis, who was elected as Sheffield City Region mayor in May, spoke out after Government figures showed transport spending per person has fallen more in Yorkshire than anywhere else in the county.
Spending fell in the county by £18 per person in the last year – compared to a £90 rise in London.
Mr Jarvis said: “It’s frustrating but unsurprising to see transport spend per person in Yorkshire has fallen more than anywhere else in England.
“Our transport infrastructure is not fit for the 21st century – and we need action.”
“Our Transport for North investment plans are vital but will take years to deliver. We can make improvements sooner.”
Luke Raikes, senior research fellow at Institute for Public Policy Research PPR North, who has analysed the figures, said: “These figures show us that government still needs to follow through on their promises to make the Northern Powerhouse a reality.
“An increase in spending in the north west in the past year is very welcome. As is the £37 million announced in the Budget for transport in the North, but the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber are yet to see such a boost, and investment in the North still pales in comparison to spending in London.
“People are continuing to suffer the very real effects of decades of underinvestment, and the ongoing chaos on northern trains is a clear sign of how far there is to go.
“The Northern Powerhouse has the potential to improve the whole country by transforming the North’s economy. In realising this, transport has an important role to play in helping to connect people, services and goods across the region.
“Next year will offer the government an opportunity to improve their record on transport spending. They must take it.
“Transport for the North is now developing investment plans that will address this long-standing problem and the government will then have the chance to follow through on their promises: to give the green light on long-overdue investment in the North; and to devolve real power so that the North can take responsibility for its own transport network.”