Bus Services Bill [Lords]

Part of Supply and Appropriation (Anticipation and Adjustments) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:40 pm on 1st March 2017.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Labour, Leigh 4:40 pm, 1st March 2017

I agree that it is not north-south. It is a problem in our political system: London-centricity. Why was London allowed to opt out in 1985 when everywhere else had to take part in the experiment without evidence to support it? Because most policy makers in the House of Lords, this place and the Government civil service live within the M25, they thought that the services were fine and that there was no problem because theirs were regulated, while everyone else was going through chaos. That explains why devolution is necessary. It means that we can fix the problem for the benefit of the travelling public.

I agree absolutely about the cable car. If they have the money here to throw at cable cars that people do not use, that makes the point about the inequality in transport investment. It is just not right.

Investment has been committed for HS2, but we are now considering two other potential major investments: HS3, or northern powerhouse rail, and Crossrail 2. In my view, HS3 is the highest transport investment priority for this country: high quality rail linking the great cities of the north. I would say that it is a higher priority than HS2, but it is absolutely a higher priority than Crossrail 2. If the Government put Crossrail 2 before HS3 in the queue for investment, they will perpetuate the gross inequality of many decades in transport investment in our country.