The vast majority of England’s local authority capital expenditure in the last financial year was associated with transport projects in London, including Crossrail, according to new government statistics.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) figures show that a significantly greater proportion of expenditure went on transport (34%) than on housing (18%) or education (26%). Greater London Authority (GLA) expenditure via Transport for London (TfL) was the chief driver behind overall local authority capital expenditure rising to £23.1bn in 2010/11 — an increase of 8% on the previous year.
Spending on transport and highways rose from £3.48bn in 2006/07 to £7.94bn in 2010/11, with the bulk of the spend by GLA at £4.5bn. The 2010/11 spending included TfL’s £450M investment in Crossrail, and a £1.6bn one-off loan to purchase Tube Lines.
Last year’s comprehensive spending review (CSR) saw local authority capital spending reduced by 30% and TfL’s budget cut by 28% from 2011 onwards. However, funding for the £14.9bn Crossrail project and a £6bn London Underground programme of upgrades and maintenance was ringfenced.