Dead Men Left

Friday, June 24, 2005

On that perennial problem of regional economic disparities, this recent study by Patricia Rice and Tony Venables (PDF) thinks that much of the variation in economic performance across the UK can be explained by proximity to major population centres. Disparities have grown since 1995, with the strong centripetal tendencies of the 1990s recovery left unaddressed by successive governments. The recommendation is that improvements in transports, reducing effective proximity, would have significant spillover effects on regional productivity. If New Labour still had a coherent transport policy - beyond roads, roads, roads - they would be in a better position to address the issue.