Call for strategy to help cut national imbalance

Transport spending will become increasingly targeted at London and the South East unless the government develops a spatial strategy for England, a report warns.

The study was led by lobby group the Town and Country Planning Association. It argues that England must develop a strategy that sets out how it will meet its transport, housing, energy and infrastructure needs in a coordinated way.

The report points out that England is the only western European country without a national plan of this sort.

The report claims that public transport spending has become more skewed towards London and the South East over the years, causing the nation to become "polarised" in terms of public transport provision.

A detailed transport plan should be embedded in a national spatial strategy to tackle this polarisation and this should focus on linking regional centres to underperforming cities, not just to London, it says.

Town and Country Planning Association chief planner Hugh Ellis said: "England desperately needs an integrated transport investment strategy. We must ensure that central hubs of opportunity are linked to areas of deprivation."

The study comes after the Commons transport select committee urged ministers to ensure that high-speed rail plans are aligned with an overarching national transport strategy.

The study can be viewed via Planning

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