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Far fewer jobs can be reached by public transport in north of England – report

public transport

Far fewer jobs can be reached by public transport in north of England – report

Workers living in northern England can access far fewer local jobs on public transport than those living in the south, according to a damning new report that will increase pressure on Boris Johnson to deliver on his “levelling up” promise.

Those in the south can access up to seven times as many jobs by bus, train or tram, the report suggests.

The problem is particularly acute around towns in “red wall” areas where the Conservatives won seats for the first time in 2019, the data from centre-right thinktank Onward found.

Tory MPs said it exposed the deep extent of “transport inequalities between regions” that lead to people feeling they have to move away from an area for work, and urged the prime minister to match the rhetoric in his party conference speech with action.

The study uncovered for the first time how many jobs are accessible by car and public transport in every area in the country, shining a light on the “yawning” gap faced by workers depending on where they live.

Towns including Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Bolsover compare badly with towns in London’s hinterland such as Redbridge, Barnet and Epping Forest.

Halifax in Yorkshire and Mansfield in Nottinghamshire also have similar levels of population as Aldershot in Hampshire but using public transport people can reach twice as many jobs within 90 minutes from Aldershot than from Halifax and more than four times as many as from Mansfield.

Aldershot is 30 miles from London, while Halifax and Mansfield are substantially closer to other big cities such as Leeds and Nottingham respectively.

And in some of Britain’s most important regional cities, public transport barely improves access to jobs at all. An hour on public transport in Newcastle and Glasgow boosts job access by a third but in London it quadruples.

James Blagden, a senior Onward researcher who authored the report, said: “Outside the south of England poor public transport is holding back opportunity and growth. Improving connectivity within city regions and between city centres and outlying towns will be key to the success of levelling up.”

Rob Largan, Tory MP for High Peak in Derbyshire, said that if levelling up were to mean anything it should be about fixing disparities in public transport that affect life chances and employment, adding: “I sincerely hope the government take this report on board carefully.”

Johnson’s conference speech was criticised by some for lacking in policy, instead only adding tonal flourishes to his plan to “level up” that he promised in 2019.

The Adam Smith Institute called it “substantively bluster and blither” and said the prime minister should have been “focused on the very real crises that are staring his government in the face”.

Richard Holden, the Tory MP for North West Durham, said he and his colleagues were “elected to level up opportunity for people in our overlooked towns and villages” and pressed ministers to help younger people and those on low incomes stay in the places they grew up in.

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New Naira Notes Ready For Issuance- CBN

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has said the newly redesigned Naira notes are already in banks and ready for issuance.

In a statement on its official twitter handle, the CBN quoted Emefiele to have made the disclosure in Daura, Katsina State, while on a visit to brief the president on the Naira redesign and the recently reintroduced cashless policy.

“The newly redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes are now in banks and ready for issuance to members of the public,” the statement said.

The CBN governor clarified that the currency redesign and reintroduced cashless policies were not targeted at anybody but were for the good and development of the Nigerian economy, and urged Nigerians to embrace the various electronic channels available for banking and financial service transactions in Nigeria.

Emefiele further said the CBN deferred the cashless policy severally to prepare and deepen Nigeria’s payments system infrastructure.

He, therefore, advised Nigerians to take their old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes to the banks before the January 31, 2023 deadline.

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NIBSS Says e-Payment Transactions Hit N38.9trn In November

The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) has revealed that transactions worth N38.9 trillion were performed electronically in November through the NIBSS Instant Payment platform (NIP).

This is the highest monthly transaction record on the platform.

Compared with the N34.5 trillion recorded in the preceding month, the November figure also shows a 12.7 per cent increase.

The latest data also shows that the November figure brought the total value of NIP deals in the last 11 months to N345 trillion.

Year on year, the e-payment value increased by 50 per cent compared with the N25.9 trillion recorded in November last year.

The value of the e-payment recorded was a reflection of the increase in the volume of deals within the month. The NIP volume rose to 492.2 million in November, showing a 53.8 per cent increase over the N319.9 million recorded in the same period last year.

The NIP is an account-number-based, online-real-time Inter-Bank payment solution developed in the year 2011 by NIBSS. It is the Nigerian financial industry’s preferred funds transfer platform that guarantees instant value to the beneficiary.

According to NIBSS, over the years, Nigerian banks have exposed NIP through their various channels, that is, internet banking, bank branch, Kiosks, mobile apps, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), POS, ATMs, etc. to their customers.

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CBN Insists It Won’t Reverse New Withdrawal Policy

Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank, says there would be no reversal on the new cash withdrawal policy adding that the limitations was not intended to hurt anyone.

He disclosed this on Thursday following his visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina State.

The National Assembly had earlier faulted the CBN’s unveiling of revised cash withdrawal limits with a maximum of N100,000 for individuals and N500,000 for companies, claiming that it might worsen the current economic situation.

But while reacting to the objections from the National Assembly and the public outcry over the cash withdrawal policy, Emefiele said;

“And we think Nigeria, as the biggest economy in Africa, needs to leapfrog into the cashless economy.

“We cannot continue to allow a situation where over 85 per cent of the cash that is in circulation is outside the bank.

“More and more countries that are embracing digitisation have gone cashless,” he said.

He added that there would be no rigidity on the policy and no reversal, appealing to Nigerians to embrace the new policy.

According to the Governor of the CBN, the new naira notes have already been disbursed to the various commercial banks and expects that the banks would begin distribution to the public.

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