Britain has always been portrayed as a North South divide, however it isn’t quite so easy to describe the country in such simplistic terms.
Economically the corridor of wealth begins at Dover and Folkestone. It sweeps up through the South East encapsulating London then on into the Midland cities before going further north. Here it catches Manchester, Liverpool and The Wirral next taking in most of Lancashire before sweeping across Derbyshire into Yorkshire, making these all areas of increasing wealth.
The Northeast is also seeing prosperity with industry burgeoning in the central belt between the Forth and Clyde estuaries where wealth is increasing. However, in many parts of Britain outside these corridors wealth and jobs are not spreading out.
I recently visited Torquay travelling by train from Portsmouth. To say that from Salisbury to Exeter I was surprised to find there is a fairly large amount of single track line, is an understatement. There is a definite lack of investment, the fact that pampas grasses grow where tracks once carried trains says it all.
I then started thinking about journeys I have made to the West Country by road. Once you have left Southampton and cleared the New Forest, the roads start to deteriorate into single lane with the odd bit of dual carriageway is this the norm?
In high summer (and even out of season) the delights of Honiton can make it a struggle to get through this little town. I am quite certain that many people have similar stories of road/rail links that are either falling apart or suffering from lack of investment in other parts of the country. So what? this government has decided it will spend 80 billion pounds on ONE railway line, and this in a country where people cannot be paid a living wage! Is this social justice??
Britain or even England is not just about London, Manchester, Birmingham and the rest. There is more to this country than this corridor of wealth and power. This wealth needs to be spread around the country for the benefit of all. In doing so it would provide jobs, get people back to work, put money in their pockets beside providing the benefits of a good infrastructure. So what do the real people of Britain want? an 80 billion railway line or better roads and railways the up-grading of which would create the jobs, which in turn would provide a proper wage bringing a better standard of living? you wont get it under this government, as an article written by Tina Crowson on the 22nd August 2013 in the Torquay Herold Express clearly states. Road widening to make things safer between two towns is not even considered…
I ask again is this social justice?
(c) Michael Douglas Bosc