Wales and the North West look set to most benefit from the most recent round of levelling up spending, how does this compare to other areas of the north, London and the South East following Rishi Sunak’s and Michael Gove’s announcement?
Levelling Up was never going to be easy, even if the South was discounted completely, as there are many deprived areas in the North, but if London was discounted there are a good number of deprived areas in the South to and some even within the London area.
Many projects have over the years been announced for various areas of the North, but have many been announced and then abandoned, well I believe so.
Some years ago there was the West Coast rail line from Manchester to London and the East Coast rail line from Newcastle to London, but not much upgrade from Leeds, through Sheffield to London.
There was some time ago a proposed idea to extend the Euro Channel link to the North with a container train area in the North Midlands, but it didn’t go ahead, then there was HS2 and HS3, but now HS2 only to Birmingham and then possibly to Manchester, but not to Leeds and Sheffield. HS3 was supposed to be an East to West from Hull to Liverpool, but not now and may only be Liverpool to Manchester, with possible upgrades to Leeds.
The road links are not much better, yes the North East has the A1, but not a full motorway. Since the M1 not much has been built to the east of the Pennines. But to the West there are many motorways, the M5 to the M6, then many around Manchester M60, M61, M65, M66.
There is the M62 from Hull through Leeds and Manchester to further West, but no new routes from Sheffield to Manchester except the old Snake and Woodhead, which in Winter are many times impassable due to snow and ice. This is until you get to Birmingham and have the M5 to the South and then the M6 north to Manchester and further North.
In the South there is the M23, M25, M42 and others.
So the East of the Pennines is so much worse off, especially North from Birmingham to Sheffield and Leeds on both rail and road.
These links or the lack of them are seriously affecting many areas North of Birmingham and certainly East of the Pennines.
All of this could be affecting investments in the North and certainly the North Midlands to the North East. This infrastructure needs to be urgently improved, as does many more instances of investment.
No matter how it is worded the North does, still, see that compared to the previous investments in the South, albeit around London, the North is so much worse off and in many respects will continue to be so.
Source: How Does Levelling Up Spending Compare In London And The South East To Other Parts Of The Country?