Fresh calls have been made for the Government to end the huge disparity in transport investment between the North and South to boost the region’s economy.

The Department of Transport (DfT) has been told to do more to ensure it allocates resources fairly across the nation after a House of Commons Transport Committee report confirmed the massive spending inequality.

Last December, the Institute for Public Policy Research North said its analysis showed the average spend per head in London worked out at £2,731, compared to £5 per head in north east England.

That claim was rebutted at the time by Transport Minister Norman Baker, who said the report was “not complete and did not include the December announcements on local major projects”. But the new report by the Transport Committee found that “the DfT could do more to ensure that its expenditure plans involved a fair allocation of resources across the nation”.

Kieran Preston, director general of Metro in West Yorkshire, said major investment was needed to help the region’s economy.

“Metro is now in the detailed design stage of new stations at Apperley Bridge, Kirkstall Forge and Low Moor, and we are preparing a Transport and Works Act application for the new Leeds station southern entrance,” he said.

“However if our region is to be able to play its full part in the country’s ongoing economic growth, we need further investment in transport schemes, such as the first stage of the New Generation Trolleybus network, Trans-Pennine electrification and Network Rail’s Northern Hub.

“This would start to counter the legacy of discrepancy, highlighted by the Transport Committee in this report, which last year saw Government transport spending in London at £744 per head, almost triple the £276 per head spent on transport in our region.”

James Vasey, chairman of Bradford Rail Users’ Group, said that the “answer usually trundled out by ministers of the current and previous governments is that the South-East has the highest demand and the largest economic area”.

“However, this is self perpetuating,” he added. “By investing in infrastructure in the South-East and not in the North, or in Bradford, the growth doesn’t come here. We are crushed into 30-year-old trains and because we don’t cause a fuss, the Government doesn’t send any money or new trains.”

Tim Calow, chairman of the Aire Valley Rail User Group, said the North had encountered fare increases to pay for extra trains which “seemed unreasonable” given the big investment in London and the South.

The Transport Committee report has also revealed the DfT accepted a budget cut of £683 million last year, then underspent by more than £1 billion.