Transport leaders demand more cash for Merseyside projects
Jan 25 2008
by David Bartlett, Liverpool Daily Post

KEY business movers and shakers met in Liverpool yesterday and called on the Government to better fund transport projects in the region.

Merseytravel chairman Cllr Mark Dowd called for more investment on transport outside London and a fairer playing field for the regions.

It was the first of a number of meetings to be held to discuss sustainable transport and how the region can tackle congestion, especially in Liverpool city centre.

Due to the high regeneration in the city, traffic growth of 12% is predicted against a target of 7% by 2011.

Merseytravel said keeping congestion down is a key issue as a 12% increase “would have severe impacts on the business efficiency of the city centre, and have damaging environmental impacts on the World Heritage Site.”

The meeting was also part of the Government’s consultation on the Local Transport Bill 2007, aimed at giving local councils more power over transport in the region.

Michelle Cameron, head of transport at the Government Office North West, was asked about per capita spend on transport in London – currently around £630 compared with £276 in the North West.

She said outside that area the North West’s per capita level of the funding was the highest of the regions.

John Kelly, executive director of regeneration at Liverpool City Council, said: “The message is that this city region is a growing economy and it needs to attract investment and keep investment at high levels in the city region.

“To do that we need more control over big transport decisions so that we get a transport infrastructure that meets our aspirations for a successful international economy. Therefore, we need their trust and a further slice of the cake.”

Source: Liverpool Daily Post