A Widening, Worrying Disparity

I think I’ve mentioned on here before how much I love London. Having lived here for almost twelve years I have become intoxicated by the sheer vibrancy of this metropolis. Yet the fact remains that I come from a small Cheshire town, and to be honest I think I’ve started to miss it. As much as I love London, I’m a northerner and always will be. That’s why I was so dismayed to hear that the tories are abandoning the planned infrastructure upgrades up there. Every time I go out for my trundle, I see new buildings being constructed and improvements being made across this city: it’s now clear that, for all the governments talk of levelling up, there is still a huge north/south divide in terms of investment in this country. When you remember that, fingers crossed, Crossrail will start working next year, a transport project costing billions, but which will benefit more or less only London, but a project intended to improve transport between northern cities can get binned just like that, that imbalance starts to look quite obscene. At the end of the day I come from the north; to see it being left behind like this when everywhere around me brand new buildings are rocketing into the sky really is troubling.

Apart from the occasional couple of days here and there, I have barely been ‘home’ in the past decade; the pandemic has obviously made it especially hard. To be honest I think I miss it. I wonder what places like Stoke, Crewe and Macclesfield look like these days? I wonder what I would see if I could trundle around them as I now trundle around London. But then, I’m told public transport is still not as accessible there as it is in London, which I suppose is part of the very issue I’m trying to get at. The disparity between London, the South-East and everywhere else is vast and growing. It’s starting to worry me. This week’s cancellation can only cause more division and resentment.

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