Barbara Keeley

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR WORSLEY AND ECCLES SOUTH

Barbara's Salford Advertiser Column, 21st August 2014

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Under the Conservative-led Government, people in the London area benefit from public investment levels which are nine times higher than for people living in the North West. London residents and commuters benefit to the tune of £5,426 per person from major Government investment, including the Crossrail project and improvements to the London Tube network.

When investment in the decommissioning of the Sellafield nuclear plant is removed from the figures, people living in the North West receive only £599 of Government investment per person. This imbalance seems grossly unfair.

It makes me angry that so little Government investment comes to Salford and the North West while so much is being spent on transport and other investment projects in the London area. Our trunk roads and motorways are badly congested and we also suffer from poor air quality from the pollution from traffic queuing on our roads.

In terms of our congested roads, the so-called “Smart Motorway” scheme on the M60 is just starting. The M60 scheme is investing £200 million while the Crossrail project and upgrades to the London Tube system will receive £22.7billion. For people living next to the M60, the low-budget nature of the M60 scheme will mean they could suffer months of noise and light pollution as overnight working goes ahead without necessary measures to reduce the impact of the work.

I have campaigned with local people to get much-needed investment in our rail services through Walkden and Eccles, but little is done by this Government to improve our rail services. Every day, commuters are left behind on local stations due to a lack of investment in rolling stock. Yet, investment in London’s Crossrail project is nine times as high as the investment in all planned rail projects in the North West, the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber regions.

It is clear that investment in our rail services and roads would help boost employment in Salford as well as improving transport. I am calling on the Conservative-led Government to invest more in services in the North West and I will keep pressing them to do that.

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