A LEADING Liberal Democrat on Tyneside has warned that the North East could be left behind if the government brings forward planned building projects designed to tackle the recession.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling is considering bringing forward to 2009 projects originally planned to begin in 2011 in a bid to kickstart the recession hit economy.
But with most of the big government building projects being outside the North East, there are worries the region will not get the boost needed to get people back to work.
Peter Maughan, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Blaydon and a Councillor in Gateshead, has written to the Chancellor calling for the region to be considered seriously for new investment.
“I am particularly concerned to ensure that the transport system is included in any government plans to boost building projects,” said Peter.
“But I am very worried about the poor record of the government on supporting an upgrade to the Al and rail improvements in the region.
“Many of the big projects such as Crossrail and the Olympics will benefit London and the South East. We need a cast iron guarantee that the needs of the North East will not be ignored any more.
“In the long run better transport links for the region are vital for the long term growth of our economy. The poor main road and rail links we have are holding back our economy.
“Improving them will therefore create jobs in the long run, and not just boost employment during the recession.
“As things stand with the government at the moment, there is a huge danger that no serious investment in big projects will take place in the North East.”
Councillor Maughan highlighted the need to develop the Metro system, improve other local rail links, improve rail links to London and upgrade the A1 as key government projects to boost the local economy.