Thursday, 23 July 2015

Whither the northern powerhouse?

George Osborne's pre-election pledge for a "northern powerhouse" to rebalance the economy away from London seems to have derailed mere months after the election. It has been announced that much-needed electrification work between Leeds and Manchester will be delayed due to financial worries. Meanwhile London Overground and Thameslink remain on track to receive brand new trains.
Away from the North of England and its "powerhouse", Scotland is faring little better. Prestwick airport in Ayrshire has lost £4million in the last financial year. Meanwhile Heathrow airport remains in rude health and some are arguing for a third runway to be built. On the rails, electrification to Stirling, Dunblane and Alloa was shelved some time ago along with GARL. It remains to be seen how soon we will see these projects restarted.
Going slightly off the transport theme for a moment, house prices in London continue to reach ludicrous hights, while those in Scotland remain in the doldrums.
London seems to be a black hole, sucking in wealth and investment from the surrounding nation. Unfortunately government soundbites aren't followed up with real action and the economy remains as skewed as ever.

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